I woke up and smelled the bacon this morning. No, my valet wasn't prepping breakfast in the kitchen. I have no actual bacon anywhere in my house. What I do have is a bacon alarm clock. It isn't edible, it just smells that way.
There are two parts to the Oscar Mayer bacon alarm clock/publicity stunt. The first is an iPhone app called Wake Up & Smell the Bacon. Anyone can download it for free. The second part is a small device that plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone (or, in my case, an iPad Mini). When the alarm goes off, the app changes to a video of cooking bacon, the gadget spews a vaporized bacon scent into the air, and a soothing voice talks about the wonders of the meaty product.
The scent vaporizer comes in a pretty classy package, tucked into a subtle black gift box that makes it all seem really sophisticated. It includes a USB power cable for recharging the battery and a bottle of liquid bacon smell for refills. A small tray on the side of the device opens up to hold the liquid.
There should only be two main reactions to the bacon alarm clock concept: love or disgust. If you love it, you'll want to get one. You can apply to be a lucky bacon beta tester at the official Wake Up & Smell the Bacon site.
So, how well does the bacon alarm clock work? Pretty well. The smell is fairly subtle, both bacon-y and sweet at the same time. It's not like someone is slapping you across the face with a slab of bacon to get you to wake up. The sizzle-and-pop sound effects and gentle voice saying, "A world without bacon is like the Earth without the world," was enough to wake me up and get me going. The smell was just a bonus.
As far as I can tell, the whole contraption is vegetarian-friendly. Certainly, Oscar Mayer is hoping you'll get up and cook up a few slices of its particular brand of bacon, but I promise I won't tell if you heat up some smoky-maple tempeh strips instead.