The best part of waking up

This invention — an alarm clock that releases a synthetic coffee smell when the alarm goes off — is sort of neat, in a tacky sort of way. I’m sure it doesn’t smell as good as real coffee. And more importantly, there is no real coffee, so if you use the thing you’re starting your day off with disappointment from the very first minute.

Better idea? An actual bedside coffee grinder/alarm clock. The whir of the burrs wakes you up while releasing the sirenous aroma of real fresh ground coffee. Say, Guatemala Huehuetenango. The coffee dispenses into the state of the art automatic bedside Clover, which brews a perfect cup before you even have time to remember the name of the alluring woman lying next to you. All for just three easy payments of $19.95.

(Pop quiz: Which aspect of my above fantasy is most unrealistic? Hint: It’s not the $60 Clover.)

I actually did have an idea for an alarm clock once, but it used a paper shredder instead of a coffee grinder. The shredder is in one room, such as the kitchen. It communicates wirelessly with the alarm clock in the bedroom and is set to turn on five minutes after the alarm goes off. Before going to bed, put a $20 bill in the shredder. Then you have to get out of to bed to save your bill, and by then you’re in the kitchen, so you might as well make some coffee. See my original post on the economics of the situation.

I’ve since decided a better alternative would be to give the money to the charity of one’s choice rather than shred it. Perhaps the alarm clock could communicate the time for which it’s set to your computer. In the morning, you’d then have to log in to your computer in time to prevent an automatic transaction from billing your credit card for a donation.

The drawback would be that if your Internet connection is down or your computer isn’t working, you can’t stop the transaction. The upside is that over the long term, you won’t mind if you overslept a few mornings and ended up donating $100 to the humane society. Yet since that doesn’t mean you want to donate $20 every single day, the alarm is still effective.

[Via TMN. Cross-posted on Smelling the Coffee.]


6 thoughts on “The best part of waking up”

  1. I had a similar set up in college, but where I would grind the night before but have my coffee maker beep and start brewing from a machine that was just far enough from my bed that I had to get up if I wanted to get a cup. Problem was I would get my coffee and just getting back under the covers. Therefore, the much maligned holding down of the alarm clock button for and random period times (to set my alarm clock early but not know HOW early is was set). That or having dogs gets you up on time…

  2. Court, I’ve done that before, as well, in slightly different form: I’d set my bedroom alarm clock ahead of the real time by a few minutes, but when setting it I’d look away and just hold the button a couple seconds. So I knew that my clock was set ahead, but I never knew by how much, so I had to assume that it was on the low end and get ready. Eventually after a couple weeks, I’d accidentally figure out how far ahead it was and have to set it over again.

    But you just gave me a new idea… Set the alarm in a pseudorandom way, by COVERING the alarm clock’s display, and then holding down the minutes button for the alarm set, for a few seconds. Then, when you wake up, you know that your alarm is going off, and you know that it is roughly the time at which you need to get up, but you don’t know whether or not you have any extra time to fuck around, so you have to assume that you have none.

  3. An alarm clock suited to my particular problem would automatically retract the bed into the wall once I walked across the room to shut the alarm off. Otherwise, it’s 60 minutes worth of snooze.

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