Okay, so Oscar Mayer may have recently dished up an app that releases the smell and sound of sizzling bacon to help you get it going in the morning. But in the weird world of wake-up gadgets, there's more than one way to rouse the dead (tired).
We'll give you a bit (no pun intended) more on Oscar Mayer's bacon app first. With regard to the scented part of the equation, the company explains that to emit a small puff reminiscent of bacon, the user needs an external device that plugs into the headphone jack. The app itself produces the sound of bacon sizzling in a pan.
However, if the smell of bacon isn't quite alluring enough, and for vegetarians we assume you'd simply sleep right through, we give you a few interesting alternatives.
How about the far more subtle Philips Wake-Up Light? Simulating an increasingly bright sunrise, the Wake-Up light gradually fills the room with light over a 3-minute period letting you know the day has started and that it's time to become a part of it. You can add the sound of singing birds or other natural sounds that increase in volume, as well. The Philips Wake-Up Light can be used as bedside lamp for reading as well.
For those of you that "abuse the snooze" how about Clocky, the runaway alarm that almost mockingly bolts across the room after you hit the snooze button? Kind of like the little brother you may or may not have ever had, it then continues to roll around the floor until you catch it and silence its robotic bleeps (which are louder than any little brother you may or may not have ever had).
Clocky was built to withstand drops from heights of up to three feet, and the tread on those 3.5-inch wheels allow it to dance away on even the thickest of rugs.
Purely conceptual at this stage, Sony is looking to attack the problem at its core with the Alarm Clock Pillow. This high-tech pillow is being designed to help sleepers wake up feeling more refreshed. The pillow is embedded with a small actigraph unit that monitors the sleep patterns of the user and wakes them up at the point they leave REM sleep. Actigraphy is a non-invasive method that is able to continually record movements and detect if the user is in REM sleep or awake.
Here's another one that is based on giving you a nudge when your sleep cycle is leaving REM. The Renew SleepClock from Gear4 works with your iPhone or iPad to monitor your sleep pattern and gently wake you up when your cycle is at its lightest. There are no headbands or other attachments - just a motion detector that tracks how much you toss and turn.
You don't actually choose a specific time for the alarm to sound, instead choosing a time window (you can set the duration of the window) with the outer limit being the time that you have to be up by. The Renew SleepClock senses if or when you are in a light sleep cycle during this pre-set window and then it starts to wake you up.
At worst you've got an attractive looking speaker dock as your iPad, iPhone or iPod will all fit nicely on the bass of the device. But ideally, The Renew will also get your butt out of bed.