Man hitting an alarm clock

The simplest and smartest way to improve your life is having more time. You don’t need to steal extra hours from your personal life or lose sleep, neither of which are very smart, but just be that little bit ahead of everything. Arriving five minutes before or after something starts is the difference between relaxed, professional preparation and stressed, sweaty desperation (and showing contempt for anyone you kept waiting). The best way to start everything early is to start everything early, getting up as you mean to get on, which is why we’re looking at five fantastic alarm clocks.

1. Gear Clock

Giant Gear Alarm Clock

Giant Gear Alarm Clock

Basic and beautiful, the Giant Gear Alarm Clock is the coolest version of the simple alarm clock that we’ve ever seen. The elegance of exposed clockwork combines perfect punctuality with style, and means your mornings will be happier because you just can’t hate anything that looks that good, no matter what kind of dream it interrupted. Which is good, because unless you work for the bad guys in a Disney movie, starting the day with a breakfast of rage and hatred is counterproductive.

Giant Gear Alarm Clock (Sideview)

Giant Gear Alarm Clock (sideview)

2. Beautiful BeoTime

Alarms are hateful not just because they wake you for work, but because they use the most unpleasant noises possible in the horribly mistaken belief they’re more effective. Screeching, screaming, and loud beeps are no way to motivate anyone (no matter what restaurant reality shows might have taught you.) You want better sound, and when you want better sound, you go Bang & Olufsen.

BeoTime

BeoTime alarm clock by Bang & Olufsen.

The BeoTime is an electronically magic flute, a wireless clock, and remote control that wakes you with your home sound system. Wake to some kinetic pop, happy disco, or a bit of Oh Fortuna for those deadline days. Simply touching the flute sets the snooze, and it’s the only alarm clock in the world which can act as an ornament.

3. Shake N Wake

For the business traveler snatching sleep wherever they can, or the considerate house guest who has to be up before everyone else, the Shake N Wake silently starts your day without interrupting anyone else’s night.

Shake n Wake

Shake N Wake Alarm Clock

The vibrating alarm can be strapped to your wrist or placed under your pillow, while a backup beep can be set to work as an emergency backup, making this a considerate clock for those whose partners work different hours.

4. Helicopter Attack At Sunrise

We somehow got through three machines designed to target unconscious and vulnerable human bodies without something that looks like part of the robot army which will enslave us.

Helicopter Alarm Clock

That (and our society) ends right here.

The Flying Alarm Clock opens up with a sonic assault, then launches its air force to mount an invasion of a random part of your room. A part you’ll have to get up and find to find the off switch key that went with the airborne projectile. This forces you to get out of bed, very optimistically ignoring the human body’s ability to perform complex tasks like going to the bathroom or settling pets before returning to bed without waking up once. Which is good, because we need the machines to underestimate us. And considering how the alarm’s base station is still right next to you, and needs those batteries you can reach to live, it displays a tragic (for it) lack of tactical sense.

5. Inflating Alarm Clock

The “Princess and the Pea Alarm Clock” (PPAC) makes it impossible to stay in bed. Literally.

Unfortunately the one and only guaranteed alarm clock on this list, or anywhere,  is unavailable for sale, possibly because any company releasing them might as well send million-dollar lawsuit settlements directly to ever customer. But if you want to learn more about building one, Jeff’s Arduino blog has more information about electronically automating your life than the Borg.

Image credit: Image: lisegagne / iStockphoto

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