French inventor up for Google prize

Olfactory alarm clock inventor is first French finalist in Google Science Fair awards

21 September 2014

THE INVENTOR of a scented alarm-clock will find out tonight if he has won one of the prestigious Google Science Fair awards.

Guillaume Rolland from Nantes is one of 15 inventors to be nominated for the global awards, and is the first French person to be nominated. The Google Science Fair awards is a global online science and technology competition for teams and individuals aged 13-18. Mr Rolland is nominated as global finalist and is also nominated in the Age 17-18 category.

The Grand Prize includes a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands, an experience at the Virgin Galactic Spaceport and $50,000 scholarship funding and age category winners win $25,000 scholarships.

Mr Rolland, who is just 18, has invented an alarm clock that releases a scent, for people for cannot be woken by a traditional alarm clock. It was inspired by conversations with his father who runs a retirement home.

The clock diffuses a fragrance for between 30 seconds and a minute and it is designed to scent the room for up to 10 minutes. The clock uses a menthol essential oil but sleepers could potentially be woken with their favourite scent, from chocolate or coffee, mint to toast or strawberry jelly sweets.

While developing the Sensorwake clock, Mr Rolland did tests on a range of subjects – including adults, teenagers, five pensioners in a local retirement home and a profoundly deaf girl - as they slept.

All of the people who participated in the trial were awoken by the perfume and enjoyed the new experience, he reported in his research. Users can also choose from light and sound alarm function.

The young inventor, who is specialising in physics and chemistry in his last year at the Lycée St Joseph du Loquidy in Nantes, was awarded a gold medal at the 2014 European Lépine awards for his innovative Sensorwake clock.

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