Recent years have seen all kinds of crazy alarm clocks that use beeps, vibrations, and flashing lights to get you going in the morning. This much friendlier alarm clock shuns those annoyances in favor of the scent of fresh-brewed coffee and just-baked croissants.
Sensorwake is a Paris-based startup that has become part of an incubation program with Google France after winning a Google Science Fair competition. Its eponymous first product is an olfactory alarm clock that wakes you up with an intense smell, instead of gongs and ear-splitting beeps.
Essentially, when your alarm goes off, the clock starts pumping out a scent from a capsule inserted in the top. Think Glade PlugIn, on-demand and in your face. The scents, which include the likes of hot croissant, espresso, peppermint, and chocolate, were formulated with a French perfume house to smell good and to stimulate your nose to get you out of bed. While this should take just two minutes, a back-up beep starts after three minutes in case smells alone don't do the job. I'm uncertain as to the science behind this, but Sensorwake assured us that the method works (unless allergies are acting up) and is non-toxic.
The clock will cost $109 dollars when it hits the market later this year, but the business model's fruit will come in the sale of scent capsules. Each swappable capsule is good for 30 awakenings; a two-pack will cost $10.90. This is essentially how razor companies have made money for decades, selling blades to consumers hooked on the handle. At that price, you're looking at about $5 per month to wake up.
The Sensorwake olfactory alarm clock hit Kickstarter last summer and will begin shipping to the earliest backers in May 2016. It should be available online to new buyers by summer's end.