Monday, September 19, 2005

My Million Dollar Idea
Which is actually "My Million Dollar Idea That I Won't Make A Million Dollars From Because Now I've Put It Up On My Blog Where Anybody Can Steal It" but that's way too long a title. My idea is for an alarm clock. Specifically, an alarm clock that recreates the high-frequency buzz of a flying female mosquito. It would ramp up from the time the alarm is set going from inaudible to ... well, here's where my conception of the idea breaks down. I just don't know any of the technical aspects of how to recreate the buzz of a female mosquito but the volume ramp up can't be too difficult - my Wave radio does it.
The genesis of this idea was in a ryokan in Kyoto at 3am. From being sound asleep I was driven into a fully aware (and comabtive) state by the tiny, lone sound of a skeeter bitch driven into my sleeping chamber by her unholy bloodlust. If that little nipper (Watch it! -Ed.) was the thesis of my idea, Lycurgus gave me the antithesis. We talked once, several years after my Japanese sojourn, about an alarm clock that woke one up gently: didn't blare an alarm, didn't come on to a radio station that might be playing something harsh. I think the Bose Wave does a good job of this, what with its slowly increasing volume (up to the level the user sets) on activating. But I was still left to wonder about those times I hit the snooze and then flaked out or was jolted awake unnaturally.
The synthesis then was to remember how quickly, gently and thoroughly I came to life when I sensed the mosquito in that quiet little inn. One aspect of a mosquito's buzz is that in a quiet room, it sounds like it's *right* *next* *to* *your* *head* when it's actually several feet away. I learned this when I turned on the light in the certain knowledge that the little bugger was about to land on me and saw it out of arm's reach. But I'm sure that an alarm clock that recreates that hideous buzz, with a slowly increasing volume, mimicking a thirsty female mosquito getting closer and closer, would bring any hearing person fully awake without the jolt of a too loud song or klaxon.
Remember, if you ever see this idea on the market, I'm the one losing all those royalties.

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