In my previous home, just after I moved in, my neighbor which was the city of Redmond's various city government buildings, decided to build a parking structure. This was maybe 30 feet from my window, lasted for at least a year and would regularly wake me up at seven or eight in the morning. Determined to not be so punctual for work, I got earplugs which meant in addition to not hearing the construction outside, I couldn't hear my alarm. I had an idea for a combination ear plug, headphone, alarm clock that I never did anything with, except to write down the phrase "earplug / headphone / alarm clock" on a list that I just now found. In retrospect, I think this problem might be too specific to result in my earplug alarm clock selling well.
I signed up for the pre-release beta and purchased a Chumby last year. Chumby looks like a cousin to a GPS unit. Its similar in size with a touch screen, but has WiFi, accelerometers, and is pillow like on the sides that aren't a screen. In practice its like an Internet alarm clock that shows you photos and videos off the Web. Its hackable in that Chumby Industries tells you about the various ways to run your own stuff on the Chumby, modifying the boot sequence (it runs Linux), turning on sshd, etc, etc. The Chumby forum too has lots of info from folks who have found interesting hacks for the device.
When you turn on the Chumby it downloads and runs the latest version of the Chumby software which lets you set alarms, play music, and display Flash widgets. The Chumby website lets anyone upload their own Flash widgets to share with the community. I tried my hand at creating one using Adobe's free Flash creation SDK but I don't know Flash and didn't have the patience to learn.
Currently my Chumby is set to wake me up at 8am on weekdays with music from ShoutCast and then displays traffic and weather. At 10am everyday it switches to showing me a slide-show of LolCats. At 11pm it switches to night mode where it displays the time in dark grey text on a black background at a reduced light level so as not to disturb me while I sleep.
I like the Chumby but I have two complaints. The first is that it forces me to learn flash in order to create anything cool rather than having a built-in Web browser or depending on a more Web friendly technology. The second complaint is about its name. At first I thought the name was stupid in a kind of silly way, but now that I'm used to the name it sounds vaguely dirty.