Despite what Folger’s says, few people find the prospect of waking up to a jar of instant coffee as palatable as waking up to a freshly brewed cup of Joe. But as a way of trying to up their product’s cred, especially amongst makers, Nescafé has figured out a way to make waking up to instant coffee something to look forward to, thanks to a special alarm clock built into the cap.
“Having been covering design for the last nine years, I’d been itching for new projects to explore and we’ve been sharing our experiments on NOTCOT with readers as we’ve played with our huge laser cutter, 3D printers, wood/electronics shop, garage and more,” NOTLab’s founder and editor-in-chief Jean Aw told Core77. “So, when Publicis Mexico reached out to us with the concept of a 3D Printed Alarm Cap that would turn off when the bottle is opened, we were thrilled to collaborate with them to design and bring it all to life.”
Each Nescafé cap is 3-D printed and assembled in California, and contains a miniature Arduino, LED lights, and a tiny speaker. The Alarm Cap will wake you up in the morning with relaxing light patterns and soothing sounds, such as, say, the warbling of morning birds. To turn off the alarm, you screw off the cap.
“It’s the perfect example of a big brand embracing the technologies of the maker movement and showcasing how the accessibility of 3-D printing and Arduino-based electronics allow for beautifully designed objects and experiences,” says Aw.
Although it’s a clever concept, the Nescafé Alarm Cap isn’t exactly going to hit supermarket shelves any time soon. It’s purely promotional, and is being distributed by Nescafé Mexico to media personalities, politicians, and celebrities. Only 200 have been made so far.
Yet when components like Arduino chips and speakers become cheap enough–and they’re dropping in price all the time–there’s no reason that companies couldn’t start adding innovative little twists to their packaging this way. From the coffee we drink to our morning breakfast cereal, how long until everything you can buy in the grocery store is a multimedia experience?