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]