Alarm ClocksWe all need a good night's sleep - but it has to end sometime. For many of use that time is indicated by the beep, buzz or chime of an alarm clock.
HistoryThe idea of a timed alarm goes back a very long way. Over the centuries people have resorted to all sorts of ingenious ideas including candles that burned down to a specific point and water clocks that filled to a specified level - one example from ancient Greece used water level to trigger the singing of a mechanical bird!
In the early days of clockmaking some clocks had an alarm mechanism added however these were often bulky and inconvenient to use. The familiar bedside alarm only really came into being in the 19th century and the modern digital alarm in the 20th.
So the alarm clock can be thought of as a very old idea which has only now reached fruition.
Modern Alarm ClocksThe modern alarm clocks you can buy today are far removed from those early versions. A combination of mass production, miniaturisation and microprocessors means that the different ways we can wake up are now limited only by imagination and market forces. Some of the types of alarm clock for sale today include:
• Projection clocks
• Speaking clocks
• Extra loud alarms
• Dawn simulator sunrise clocks
• Alarm clock radios
• iPod/mp3 player alarms
There are even bizare novelty inventions and gadgets including active alarms such as the flying disc alarm and Clocky which runs away and hides!