Inspired by Mozart's famous Opera, the new Beotime alarm clock will, according to its creator Bang & Olufsen, turn the chore of waking up in the morning into an "extraordinary experience". As well as finding all the usual functionality of a standard alarm clock onboard, the elegant flute-like tube of aluminum can help you control all of your (compatible) audio/video gadgetry and even your room lights. As the suggested price tag of USD$375 indicates, this is no run-of-the-mill alarm clock.

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) are renowned for a few things. Quality audio and video being one. A penchant for stunning design another. Unfortunately for most of us, a hefty price tag also accompanies most of the company's products. So will the promised enjoyment of this product convince you to part with a fairly large wad of your hard-earned cash or will you settle for that cheap and cheerful travel alarm currently snoozing on your bedside table?

Beotime beauty and functionality

Well, you can't help being bedazzled by its beauty. The polished anodized aluminum 24 by 390 by 25mm and 170g (0.9 by 15.4 by 1.0 in and 0.4 lb) tube sporting three small (0.75 in, 48 by 33 pixels) square LCD display screens and a small square control pad will undoubtedly impress party guests and friends alike. Showing off the trumpet-like alarm on/off button at one end of the tube will be a guaranteed talking point and the display orientation tilt sensor, which makes sure that the display will always be the right way up, is sure to raise a few smiles. Throw in the motion sensor activated touch sensitivity that allows you to snooze your alarm or initiate the display backlight simply by touching any part of it and who could resist?

The Beotime has one more trick up its sleeve though. It includes a B&O infra red sensor so you can use it as a basic remote control for all of your compatible (which invariably means B&O) audio and video devices and even control (compatible) room lighting. This effectively gives you a broad choice of how you want to be sent off to sleep or woken up in the morning. Using the timer function you could drop off to sleep to some soothing jazz provided by your audio equipment and wake up in the morning to your favorite news program or radio show.

Thanks to rubberized feet, the device can lay on any flat surface or it can be wall mounted using the supplied magnetic bracket. It'll run for at least ten months on the supplied alkaline batteries and will be available in the US from August.

Expensive trinket or must have gadget

If you already own B&O devices then the recommended retail price probably won't be too much of a shock to the system and the Beotime will no doubt make a worthy addition to your collection. If, like me, you don't have a very healthy bank balance then, tempting as it is, you surely can't afford to squander your precious pennies on such an expensive trinket, however beautiful it looks and however nifty its features.

More information is available from B&O's website.

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