SensorWake is the world’s first olfactory alarm clock

This alarm clock will wake you up with a scent of your liking.

You can hear the jingle in your head now… “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” In the 1980s, the company launched a commercial where the smell of a freshly brewed pot of coffee had awoken two adults, alerting them to their son’s return from college. But let’s face it, there’s really no ideal way to wake up — even if it’s to a handpicked musical selection, gentle beams of white light or the homecoming of a loved one. There’s just something about the combination of sound, brightness and surprise that can truly be a downer in the morning.


Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped a long list of corporations, startups and Makers from taking a stab at reinventing the age-old alarm clock to make the early hours of the day a wee bit better. The latest iteration of this nightstand accessory involves wafting one’s favorite scents across their bed.

Created by teenage Maker Guillaume Rolland, SensorWake was designed to softly emit a fragrance to stir someone from their slumber in less than two minutes. A user simply sets a wakeup time as they would any other alarm clock, and then inserts a reusable capsule into the body of the unit. When it’s time to get up, the device slowly discharges the smell of choice. And should someone have a stuffy nose, no worries. SensorWake also features an audio alarm that sounds after three minutes.


At the time of its Kickstarter debut, SensorWake comes with a wide selection of aromas including espresso and hot croissant, sweet peach and strawberry candy, flowers, cut grass and leaves, purifying tea tree and harmonious chocolate, stimulating ginger and peppermint. Beyond that, those like ABC Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary can even choose to start their day with the scent of a dollar bill. Each of these capsules have been developed with Swiss manufacturer Givaudan and should last at least 60 uses. Moving ahead, Rolland envisions customers being able to order custom, seasonal and holiday themed modules, ranging from Christmas to Valentine’s Day. The possibilities are endless.


SensorWake joins a number of other clocks that have adopted an olfactory-based system to rouse someone from a deep sleep. In 2008, Japanese researchers developed a fire alarm that let out the smell of wasabi as a way to alert those who were deaf. Not long after, various Makers decided to devise gadgets that wafted bacon odors across a room. And just last year, Nestlé unveiled a lid with a built-in alarm clock that welcomed users to consciousness with the invigorating smell of a cup o’ joe.

Sound like a bedroom accessory you’d like to have? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where Rolland surpassed his initial $54,751 goal in less than 48 hours. Delivery is set for November 2015.

2 thoughts on “SensorWake is the world’s first olfactory alarm clock

  1. David Bley

    Between 1994 and 1998, I worked for a company that developed an olfactory fire alarm signaling device that used a strong aerosol cinnamum to awaken hearing impaired people from sleep. It was particularaly effective. The product was called The Scent of Life and had a webpage.



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