Trends in Japan > Lifestyle > Help For Morning Snoozers
Unique Clocks to Jump Start Your Morning
(February 25, 2008)

Morning rolls around. You are still sleepy. Your alarm clock rings. Your arm reaches out from under the blankets and, eyes still closed, you fumble around for that elusive off switch. Then, it is back to the land of dreams . . . until suddenly, "Aahh! I'm late!" Everyone has had an experience like this at one time or another. For those for whom waking up is a daily battle, there is a solution. Several alarm clocks are now available that can not only wake you up but even put a smile on your face.

The Exploding Clock
"Which one should I cut?!" you agonize. "Red? Blue? Yellow?" Tick-tick-tick. "Red," you decide, disconnecting the red wire. . . . This kind of tense, bomb-defusing scene is common in the movies, and now anyone can experience it with the Wake-up Device Danger Bomb Clock from Banpresto Co., Ltd., which costs ¥3,129 (about ¥28 at ¥110 to the dollar).

The surface of this box-shaped device features three colored connector wires: red, blue, and yellow. Three minutes before the wake-up time set by the user, a voice announces that the "bomb" will soon explode. Ten seconds before, a countdown begins "10, 9, 8 . . ." To disarm the bomb, you must disconnect the wire that is the same color as that indicated by a light on the device. And if you are too slow . . . kaboom! The clock does not actually explode, of course, but it does emit an explosive sound. The wire that disarms the device is set randomly each day, so you must actually wake up to see what color the device displays.


Jinsei Dokei.(C)TOMY

Rising Early Could Change Your Life
Another distinctive alarm clock promises to make getting up a life-altering event. The aptly named Jinsei Dokei (Life Clock) from Tomy Co., Ltd., costs ¥3,990 (about $36).

This clock lets you choose from among three characters, an office worker, a rock band member, and a young woman. If you choose the office worker, for example, a storyline begins with the character newly entering the workforce. If you wake up when the alarm first goes off every day, your young employee can rise to the level of high-flying company president within the span of just one month. As the story progresses, the alarm also changes. When your employee is just starting out, you wake up to the crowing of a rooster, but when your employee becomes head honcho, you awake to a performance by the character's personal violinist. On the other hand, if you choose to slack off and hit the snooze button too often, your character will become a drifter living with his parents, and you will be woken by the sound of his mother clanging a frying pan. The clock's storyline, albeit depicted by mere cartoon images, is designed to wake the user up with a sobering taste of life's harsh realities.


Banclock. (C)Dreams Inc.

Saving Time and Money
For people who have difficulty saving up to buy the things they want, there is only one answer: coercion. The Banclock by Dreams Inc., with a suggested retail price of ¥4,935 ($45), can provide such people with the extra motivation they need to save.

As the name implies, the Banclock serves a dual purpose as both a piggy bank and an alarm clock. It comes in the shape of a cube, 10 centimeters on each side, and has a coin slot on top. If you fail to insert a coin (any denomination will do) when the alarm goes off at the set time, it will continue to remind you every five minutes. The Banclock can hold up to ¥50,000 ($455) in 500 yen coins or ¥15,000 ($136) in 100 yen coins and plays a melody to let you know when it is full. The clock is a great way to both start your day and save up for something you want to buy.

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