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Wasabi Smoke Alarm Wins 2011 Ig Nobel Prize

Photo: Air Water Safety Service

Every year, the Ig Nobel prize for "improbable research" awards honor those "achievements that first make people LAUGH then make them THINK." On this year's list of winners: a Japanese alarm that wakes people up using the scent of wasabi. That sounds rather unpleasant?

Anyway, it has incredibly useful applications, like functioning as a smoke alarm for people with hearing problems. Below, a video of the wasabi alarm in action, or, if you're more scientifically-inclined, you can check out the machine's patent application.

Video: Wasabi Smoke Alarm

· Winners of the Ig® Nobel Prize [Improbable]
· Wasabi Smoke Alarm [YouTube]
· Odor Generation Alarm and Method For Informing Unusual Situation [Google Patents]