The Italian Almanac


Italian News - July 27

Italian high school students from Tuscany have invented a vibrating "alarm clock" for deaf sleepers that is taking them all the way to Oslo. The 15 students will be in the Norwegian capital on Thursday with their hi-tech pillow, hoping it will win them first place at the European Competition of Young Enterprises.

Their creation works though a wireless device set deep inside the pillow that is programmed to respond to a digital alarm clock nearby. The user sets the alarm from the clock and is woken by a gentle vibration at the right time. The blue pillow has been named Linus, after the Peanuts cartoon character permanently attached to his security blanket.

Although initially conceived for those with hearing difficulties, the students now believe their creation could have a wider market. "We also want to spread Linus among those who just want a gentler way of being woken up," they explained. "We've come up with a starting price of 27 Euro."

The students, all business specialists in their final year of high school, have already been contacted by companies interested in marketing the product and are currently in the process of applying for a patent.