Whoever invented the alarm clock that was designed to jar a person from slumber had an evil streak running through them. But for better or worse, the method of using a ringing alarm clock stuck for quite some time, so much so that even when electronic sounds in midi and wav formats entered the scene, there was still a ringing bell option.
Being woken gently has returned to the world of suspended animation; however. Instead of being woken by the rush of adrenalin, one can now be awoken with the release of an appetite. The genius behind this, Matty Sallin, has used the smell of bacon to rouse a thankful and hungry audience.
Thirty-four year old Marty Sallin, an NYU graduate, did a survey to find out what most people liked to wake up to, and the response was resoundingly "to the smell of bacon." This resulted in the construction of a box with a halogen light that shines down on a strip of frozen bacon. The bacon is placed on a tray within the clock's housing the night before. Ten minutes before the alarm is set to go off, a circuit activates the halogen lamp inside, searing the bacon in its heat. At the assigned time, a small fan blows the aroma out of the box housing the bacon and the clock and into the room.
The aroma of searing bacon is indeed a welcome rouser. The invention is a stroke of genius and it opens up the possibility that other forms of aroma could be used in similar fashion. This is one of those instances which makes us realize that simple ideas are worth pursuing. It has probably crossed the minds of many, to wake up to the smell of bacon. I know I've even set the bread-maker to the right time just so I wake up to the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting up to my room. But this is the first time the clock itself has been made the source of the aroma. The possibilities are endless and could lead to bottles of fragrance for almost anything that would result in an aroma wake-up call versus a jarring noise. It also reminds us that ideas are priceless but action is profitable.