Nescafe tops coffee with 3D-printed alarm clock

Nescafe creates a limited-edition 3D-printed lid with an alarm clock that can only be switched off by opening the coffee jar.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr


In a bid to upgrade its image, instant coffee brand Nescafe has turned to one of the hottest recent technologies: 3D printing. A limited run of just 200 jars to be sold around the world will feature a snazzy, new 3D-printed lid -- with an alarm clock inside.

Created by NotLabs -- the creative division of NotCot - in collaboration with Publicis Mexico, the special lid is 3D printed inside and out -- the outside in two designs by Shapeways, and the inside by NotLabs on its Makerbot printers -- and runs on Arduino.

On the underside of the lid is an OLED screen and a joystick so that users can program the alarm.

At the specified time, it will wake up the user with one of seven gentle sounds, such as bird chirps, together with light patterns that the company claims are "scientifically proven" to be stimulating.

And there's no flailing an arm out from under the covers in the hopes of hitting a snooze button: The alarm can only be turned off when the lid of the jar is untwisted and removed -- prompting, of course, the first coffee of the morning.

Check it out in the video below.