By Ken Hegan for MSN

Hit clock

How did this child get here?

One of the great joys of hotels is setting the alarm to blare like an air raid.

I’m kidding. Hotel alarm clocks are a horrible start to your day. Those piercing electronic beeps are loud enough to wake the dead. Man, I’d rather be woken up by a police baton or getting kicked in the stomach by gorillas.

But there’s a better way to wake up on vacation. It’s a portable silent vibrating system called Baboomi. Loud name, quiet gadget.

Baboomi is billed as “A better alarm clock – one that focuses on waking you up comfortably, instead of ruining your morning.”

It looks a bit like the electronic pager you hold at a family restaurant when you’re waiting for a table, except Baboomi is smaller, whiter, and not sticky with salsa.

Instead of blasting noise at you from the nightstand until you smash it out of frustration, you place Baboomi under your pillow. When it’s time to wake up, it wakes you with gentle, soothing, subsonic sound waves. You can set it to gently rock you awake, or to furiously shake your head like a cop rousting you in an opium den.


Not your typical hotel vibrator

No noise means it’s ideal for the hearing impaired. And unlike motel alarm clocks, Baboomi is wireless and adjustable. You create your own unique alarm system, whether it’s short and powerful or long and gentle. This little white device is directional, too. So it only wakes you up, instead of disturbing everyone else in your bed.

Sure, you could use the alarm on your smart phone. But smart phones heat up and the alarm vibrates the entire unit instead of targeting the vibrations like Baboomi claims to do.

Baboomi sound ring

Freeze frame of video depicting subsonic sound waves

Baboomi works via wi-fi and you use the free smartphone app (Android, iOS, PC, Mac, and Linux) to set your alarm. You can even set it from almost anywhere, plus you can program it to shoot you an alert when your Baboomi wakes someone else up. So…I guess that’s a good thing?? Maybe this feature is for pranksters/stalkers who like to hide the Baboomi under someone else’s pillow.

Placing disk under pillow

Hide it under someone’s pillow, then BABOOMI!

To pre-order your Baboomi, check out their Kickstarter video here. They’re currently $9,240 towards their $82,000 goal with a deadline of September 29th. They’ll accept $1 pledges but if you want to get the alarm it’ll cost you $119. First production batch ships February 2014, and a limited quantity of beta units will ship December 2013.

Bottom line: cool invention, wish I’d thought of it, and I hope they sell millions so it gets cheaper.

What about you…how do you like to wake up in a hotel?

— Ken Hegan

Read all Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan