A coffee alarm and five other bizarre gadgets to wake you up

From electric shocks to a one-minute morning wake-up call from strangers across the world

alarm clock
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An 18-year-old engineering student who struggled to wake up in the mornings has invented a new type of alarm clock that emits the smell of coffee and other scents.

The SensorWake has already garnered more than €38,000 on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, three quarters of the money needed to launch the project.

Guillaume Rolland's device, named as one of the top 15 inventions that can "change the world" at the 2014 Google Science Fair, is designed to bring the sleeper from a deep sleep into a light sleep and then a waking state.

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Each device comes with a pack of two capsules that offer smells such as espresso, hot croissant, strawberry candy, cut grass, peppermint and even money.

The team tested it out on 100 people and found that 99 woke up in less than two minutes, but the SensorWake also has a traditional alarm that goes off after three minutes for deeper sleepers.

Here are five other bizarre inventions designed to get you out of bed in the mornings:


Ideal for those who can't stop pressing the snooze button, Clocky gives you one chance to wake up before jumping off the bedside table and wheeling around your room beeping and looking for a place to hide. It began as an invention for an industrial design class by MIT Media Lab student Gauri Nanda and was quickly picked up by the world's media.


As an alternative to the screeching noise of a traditional alarm clock, Waky uses human voices to nudge you awake. Users can choose from the voices of 11 men or 11 women, created by professional actors. Originally popular in Russia and Ukraine, English-speaking users can also choose to be woken up by Russian characters… or by Santa.


Another app with a similar name and concept – but this time the person waking you up is a real stranger from somewhere else in the world. It's anonymous and calls are automatically cut off after one minute to save on awkward chit-chat. Wakie describes itself as a fun community of people who wake each other up in the morning. "Sounds creepy, but the community seems friendly," says The Guardian.

The Shocking Alarm Clock

Here's another alarm clock designed for those who love the snooze button. The Shocking Alarm Clock does what it says in its name, zapping the user with an electric shock if they try to press snooze and go back to sleep. It comes with a few warnings: it's not suitable for children under 14 or those with epilepsy or a pacemaker. As its creators say, it gives a whole new meaning to jumpstarting your morning.

Wake n' Bacon

Several years ago a New York University graduate student had sleepy meat-lovers salivating with his Wake n' Bacon alarm clock. A precursor to the SensorWake, Matty Sallin's alarm clock emitted the aroma of bacon instead of the irritating noise of an alarm – but he took it one step further with an in-built oven cooking actual strips of bacon inside the device. The alarm was never sold commercially, but Sallin helpfully explains how to make it on his blog.

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