Ever since the first caveman bashed another one with a rock, mankind has developed tools and technology to accomplish everyday tasks ever more quickly, efficiently, and successfully. Nowhere is this more obvious than in your morning routine, which — while it might seem mundane to you — would seem like a sci-fi miracle to someone from the past. Here’s how technology has made a few of your morning tasks way more fancy.

When Alarm Clocks Were a Rude Awakening

Your morning alarm would sound a lot different if you lived a few hundred years BC, when “water clocks” were all the rage. “Water clock” is a fancy term for a sort of jug situation which water is flowing into or out of at a regulated speed, and you can tell how much time has passed by how much water is or isn’t in your jug.

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As water clocks got more sophisticated, they incorporated alarms, programmability, and all kinds of crazy stuff. The alarms were typically “gongs or trumpets,” which probably isn’t the most gentle way to start your day. Contrast that with the Philips Wake-Up Light, an alarm clock that takes inspiration from actual sunrises in order to gradually wake you up the way nature intended. Honestly, even the term “alarm clock” sounds harsh and intrusive compared to what the Philips Wake-Up Light actually does. We’ve come a long way from gongs and trumpets.

Don’t Forget To Rub Bones On Your Teeth

In the bad old days, people used “chew sticks, tree twigs, bird feathers, animal bones, and porcupine quills” to clean their chompers. Yikes! The first thing that resembles the toothbrush as we know it came, as usual, from China, with hogshair bristles and handles made of bamboo or bone. That’s a far cry from the plastic dealies your dentist hands out, and even further from the Philips Sonicare, the #1 dentist-recommended electric toothbrush brand. Take the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, for instance. With its patented sonic technology, it reaches deep beneath teeth and along the gum line, whitening your smile in 1 week and removing up to seven times more plaque than a manual toothbrush. If you’re not using Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, you might as well be using animal bones.

Shave and a Haircut: Two Shells

Ancient people used two shells to remove unwanted hair. Did you get that? Two. Shells. That makes a Brazilian look like a massage. And you know how hairy ancient people were. Eventually copper razors came into fashion, and from then on it’s a pretty clear path to straight razors and the safety razors that soon followed. They were called “safety razors” because they provided safety from accidentally full-on murdering yourself with a straight razor, which is essentially a sword.

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Enter the Philips Norelco Shaver 9300. Its V-track precision blades ensure a uniquely close shave every time, and its 8-direction contouring heads reach every hair on the first pass. Try that with two shells. Hell, throw in a third shell, still not gonna come close.

Coffee: Pressure Makes Perfect

Coffee started off simple. You put beans in water, you boiled the water, you drank the now-brown water. Done. Naturally, 18th-century France just had to make it fancy, developing the “infusion” process that is now considered the only way to make coffee, unless you’re an instant-coffee-swilling philistine. Don’t be that philistine!

Today, we have 12 million different kinds of coffee makers, from the maligned single-serving plastic cup or pod models to your depressing drip machines that you find in America’s less fun offices, but one coffee maker is universally held as the ideal: the espresso machine. It forces water through a puck of coffee grounds at a pressure no less than “9 bar,” or nine times the atmospheric pressure at sea level. If it’s been a while since you’ve had real espresso, you kind of owe it to yourself. The Philips Saeco will do you up right: an authentic Italian espresso machine with an array of options, in both manual and automatic varieties. No matter which kind you go with, espresso from a Philips Saeco is bound to be delicious, and it’ll launch you through your morning so you can conquer your afternoon in an equally high-tech manner.

Tony Carnevale is now a senior writer for Studio@Gawker, but he was originally constructed from wood, animal bones, and leather straps.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Philips Sonicare and Studio@Gawker. For more of the stories Philips Sonicare and Studio@Gawker have created together, check out philipssonicare.kinja.com.

Illustration by Alex Cannon.