Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 8 (Reuters): A 25-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology student has invented a revolutionary alarm clock that makes sleepyheads find it to quiet it.
Designed to overcome abuse of the snooze feature on most alarm clocks, Gauri Nanda's Clocky falls to the floor and rolls away on the first push of the snooze button.
To turn it off, a person must get out of bed and find it.
The clock features two rubber wheels and is covered in thick, 1970s-style shag carpet and other material to cushion it when it tumbles to the floor.
A built-in computer chip randomly decides how far the clock will roll, so it stops in a different place each morning.
Since word of Clocky started spreading on the Internet last month, Nanda has been deluged with e-mails from people around the world seeking to buy, sell or invest in her invention.
Among those interested in Clocky, one Belgian woman wrote that she has chronic fatigue syndrome and that not even '10 alarm clocks' can wake her up.
A Virginia man said: 'I think I may have the record for hitting the snooze button for five hours straight. I need help. Clocky may be my only hope.'
Others have suggested improvements for Clocky. 'One guy said he wouldn't mind if it squirted water on him, which is kind of weird,' Nanda told Reuters yesterday.
Unfortunately for them, Clocky is still a research project and is not yet commercially available. But Nanda said she is putting finishing touches on a prototype and hopes to begin testing it soon with an eye towards marketing.
In the meantime, the university is helping her sort out intellectual property issues on the runaway clock.
Nanda said the carpeting was inspired by some of the household items she remembers seeing as a child.
'My parents had amplifiers that looked like they were covered in carpet,' she said.'I went with it because it's unconventional looking and gives the clock a playful personality. Maybe it'll even make the user laugh.'