Monday, November 16, 2009

Silly Alarm Clocks

I've been bookmarking funny alarm clocks for a while-- snoozing is so universal, and I get a kick out of the features people choose to include in their wake-up devices to ensure that they actually get out of bed. While not Arduino- or ATmega-based, here are a few of my favorites:
  • Clocky news popped early 2007, and it took me about a minute to place an order-- had to have one as soon as possible! It was too easy to just turn on its side, though, with the side of a tire as the base, so it spins around on my night stand instead of taking off. Cones on the end might prevent that, but I still love it, and it got me thinking seriously about my old inflating alarm clock idea, so is probably the single biggest inspiration for the PPAC.
  • The Pneumatic Bed Shaking Alarm Clock was built for Toronto's "The Edge" 102.1 "World's Biggest" contest and while it seems too violent to be used every day, its maker claims to have used it to get up for four years! This may be the epitome of taking a silly alarm clock idea too far, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for its maker.
  • The Perfect Wake-up Machine, a design project by students a Colorado State University, assaults all senses with its control of just about anything. Serial communication, a few PIC chips, and multiple power systems combine to make a beast of an alarm clock-- kudos for overkill!
  • "The World's Loudest Alarm Clock was a simple but effective build by Kip Kedersha (aka "Kipkay"), replacing a cheap alarm clock's speaker with two sirens for a deafening wake-up experience. Like The World's Biggest Alarm Clock, I can't see this as something anybody would want to use a second time!
  • Alarm Clock/Bedpost "-MAWD-" is an odd refitting of an alarm clock, lamp, and speaker into a tube attached to a bedpost. Most notable for being the product of a one-night, I'll-do-it-right-now!-inspired fit of tinkering, it has "silly hacker" written all over it. I love the tangle of wires supporting the LCD.

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