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Wasabi Alarm uses smell to wake the hearing impaired

I’m the kind of person that wakes up at the smallest of sounds. Simply the squeaking of my bedroom door can have me sitting straight up in bed. This is a useful trait, especially for someone who has roommates that might harbor the ideas of pranking them. It also means that in case of a fire, I’ll no doubt be the first one to wake up. Unfortunately not everyone wakes up so easily. Some people can sleep right through a smoke alarm, which can be extremely dangerous. That’s why one company took a very unusual route for rousing people in the event of an emergency.

So how does a simple alarm wake up a person without using sound? Well it certainly doesn’t find the person an poke them with a stick (that tends to be a good method for people around here). Instead, it sends forth a chemical guaranteed to get anyone out of bed. The chemical is called allyl isothiocynate, which you’ve encountered plenty, but probably never heard of. It can be found in things such as horseradish and wasabi.

That’s right, wasabi. No one can sleep through that, which is exactly the point. Marketed toward people who are deaf, and would otherwise sleep straight through a traditional alarm, Air Water Safety Service Inc is selling these for $560. Unfortunately you’ll have to contact the company directly if you are interested in purchasing them, as they do not currently list them for sale on their website.

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