If you can’t help but press the snooze button, you may want to try an alternative to your morning alarm. SensorWake is offering a gentle, stress-free awakening, exploiting the power of smells. This new kind of alarm clock was thought up by young French inventor Guillaume Rolland, who was a finalist of last year’s Google Science Fair. This made his project one of the “Top 15 inventions that can change the world”.
“Everybody should wake up feeling good, with no frustrations. And everybody can wake up with a smell they like, that’s my ambition.” – Guillaume Rolland
The young man – who dreads waking up to a screaming alarm – got the idea for an “olfactory awakening” while talking to a nurse in the home where a relative resides. She had noticed that elderly patients rarely woke up to the sound of their alarm clock. That is when Guillaume decided to explore other senses, and olfaction in particular. This sense doesn’t decrease with age, contrary to sight or hearing; and his tests confirmed that almost 100% of people wake up within 2 minutes (and as quickly as 30 seconds) of a smell being diffused. In the current version of the product, there is a backup sound alarm for the minute amount of people unable to rely on their nose.
After Google Science Fair, SensorWake went on to win 3 more global and European awards. The French entrepreneur then assembled a team to make his concept a reality, and has brought the project to Kickstarter, where it received a warm welcome. SensorWake partnered with Swiss fragrance manufacturer Givaudan to create exclusive fragrances. No doubt the team is now waking up to the smell of money, as they are on track to treble their initial goal of €50,000 (about £36,000), proving the saying that “money has no smell” wrong.
The clock itself is of simple design; it comprises of an LCD screen and a slot in which to place the desired perfume cartridge. You can choose to be pulled out of the arms of Morpheus by whichever smell you prefer: coffee, warm croissants, ebony luxury, freshly squeezed orange juice, and many others… The cartridges are 100% recyclable, don’t use any solvent and have passed air quality controls. They will last up to 60 days; an indicator on the screen will show the remaining number of uses. They can then be replaced for about £6 each.
About a year ago on Instructables, user llopez2005 showed you how to make an Arduino-powered bacon alarm clock. Well, no need for a frying pan any more; SensorWake exceeded their €100,000 stretch goal, which means a bacon-flavoured cartridge will be available.
SensorWake will start shipping in November, which makes it a perfect Christmas gift. In the meantime you’ll have to put up with your phone, or count on your partner to wake you up with real coffee and warm croissants.