Week in Gadgets: Smell-based alarm clock and holographic entertainment system

15 Jun 2015

The SensorWake. Photo via Kickstarter

This week in gadgets, a smell-based alarm clock, potentially life saving, emergency drone and 3D holographic entertainment system for homes.


There are a lot of portable mobile phone chargers out there right now,  a number of which utilise the sun as their power source. But even in this cluttered market, Solarwave is an attractive option.

A 6-inch high, portable solar-charging station, this rechargeable battery packs enough power (20,000mAh) to juice eight devices without sun. There are four USB outlets so multiple devices can be charged at the same time.

Plus, the Solarwave comes with two integrated, high-output Bluetooth speakers, so you can blare some music during your beach or festival trip as you charge. 18-year-old Conner Catanzano is currently seeking backing for the project via Indiegogo.


Developed by Krossblade, the SkyProwler is a vertical take-off and landing drone designed to dispatch emergency supplies or medical equipment, such as insulin, adrenaline or a defibrillator. Not only is the drone faster in getting the potentially live-saving supplies to those who need them, it can access remote areas more easily and cheaply than an ambulance can.

The drone boasts powerful 32-bit flight control hardware and is constructed from materials typically found in full-sized aircraft. Its software allows the machine to be controlled manually, but it is also capable of fully autonomous flight and can even change its autonomous missions while already in the air.

Krossblade, which has also designed a concept five-seat hybrid vertical take-off and landing transformer airplane called the SkyCruiser, recently achieved its goal of raising $200,000 for the drone project via Kickstarter.


Dubbed “the world’s first olfactory alarm clock”, the SensorWake has been designed in the hope of eliminating the crushing horribleness of having your sleep disturbed by an audio alarm clock and instead invites you to be woken up by the power of smell. Yes, scent can indeed wake a person up. The SensorWake’s designers say they’ve tested the product on more than 100 people with only positive results. And just in case you have a blocked nose, or something, the device has also been fitted with a back-up alarm.

18-year-old French designer Guillaume Rolland has worked with professional perfumers to create the non-toxic scents, which include coffee, croissants, the ocean and even the smell of money. Each comes in an espresso machine-like capsule and each capsule is good for 60 wake-ups. Plus, the cube-shaped clock itself looks pretty smart and should sit nicely on your bedside locker.

“I thought that now, in the 21st century, everyone should have the right to wake up happy, relaxed and peaceful, ready for a great day. So I invented the SensorWake!” said an enthusiastic Rolland via the SensorWake’s Kickstarter page.

PureWrist, wearable payment bracelet

Contactless payment technology may one day lead to the virtual elimination of traditional notes and coins from our daily lives. The PureWrist, however, wants to go one step further. This stylish silicone bracelet contains an embedded chip that can be used as a form of payment anywhere that accepts contactless cards, meaning users can pop out for a newspaper or coffee without needing their wallets.

The embedded card, known as ‘Gratitude’, is powered by MasterCard. Funds are loaded onto the bracelet through an online platform that allows tracking and management of your transactions.

While there is a monthly subscription of US$4.99 to power the Gratitude system, a portion of the money goes to charity. In addition, 20pc of funds raised through the company’s Indiegogo campaign is going to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a charity that has a special significance to the father and son team who co-founded the company, as they explain in their Indiegogo promo video below.

Holus, an interactive tabletop holographic display

Holograms have been an interesting technology ever since Tupac started showing up at gigs despite being dead for 15 years. Now it looks as though such a system could be coming to homes with the very impressive-looking Holus, a tabletop device that converts digital content from a computer, tablet or smartphone into 3D holographic images.

Created by Canadian startup H+ Technology, the pyramid-shaped entertainment system can be interacted with from different angles and doesn’t require 3D glasses. There’s also the potential for holographic teleconferencing, a system Star Wars fans have been dreaming about for years.

Below is an incredibly overwrought demonstration video (“Imagine a world where dreams meet reality…”) that does, however, showcase the device’s huge potential. H+ is looking for Kickstarter support but has already smashed through its set target.