Nescafé Turns Its Instant Coffee Container Into An Alarm Clock


The Alarm Cap encourages people to wake up and immediately make a cup of coffee since it only turns off once the lid is unscrewed.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 14 may 2014

Usually people depend on their cup of coffee to jolt them awake in the morning, but a new 3D-printed coffee lid has given the whole morning coffee habit a slightly different twist.

Instant coffee brand Nescafé has created an Alarm Cap that is designed to encourage people to get up from bed and immediately pour a cup of coffee to turn off the alarm. The alarm only shuts off when the lid is twisted and removed from the container – a move that should prompt the newly-woken up person to scoop up some of that coffee into a cup.

The coffee brand worked with creative agency Publicis Mexico’s recently launched Innovation Labs, NOTCOT’s creative studio NOTLabs, digital designer Eric Brockmeyer, and illustrator Charmaine Choi to create the Alarm Cap. Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Labs developed the concept and NOTLabs produced the Alarm Cap with help from Brockmeyer on the electronics and code, and Choi on the pattern illustrations.


The Nescafé Alarm Cap runs on a custom-built Arduino platform and is entirely 3D-printed and assembled in California. The coffee jar lid has an LED interface on its underside and comes with seven different alarm tones that are synchronized with small pulsing lights. The tones were specially designed to gently wake and stimulate the mind and would only turn off when the lid is twisted open. The cap comes in two design variations – a faceted cap and an accent cap.

Right now there are only 200 Nescafé Alarm Caps available, all of which were created and assembled in-house by NOTLabs. The exterior pieces were 3D-printed in nylon by Shapeways on an SLS printer. NOTLabs 3D-printed the interior pieces with their own Makerbot Replicators.


The creative project shows how a big brand like Nescafé is tapping into maker movement technologies like 3D printing and the Arduino platform to refresh its branding and come up with a new way to connect with and create recognition from their customers.

The whole team also worked with commercial production company The Lift to create the promotional video, which can be found below.

Nescafé // NOTLabs
[h/t] Cool Hunting


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