Travel Gear: Sleek Alarm Clock Awaits Your Command

Name: Moshi Voice Control Travel Alarm Clock

What it is: A battery-operated travel alarm about the size of a bar of soap. Its real beauty is that you can set the time, the alarm and even the sound of the alarm in the dark, because you need only find one button to make the clock converse with you.

How it works: Push one easily accessed button on top of the clock, and give it any of nine voice commands, such as "set time." It will set the exact time you say, and the female voice will repeat it to you, just for good measure.

If you don't like the cathedral-style chimes, push the button and say, "alarm sound." The clock will run through the three sound options for you. No matter what sound you choose, the alarm starts softly, so it won't be like a buzz saw through your forehead in the morning. The volume grows louder the longer the alarm sounds. Want to know the room temperature before you throw off the covers? Just push the button and say "temperature."

The good: This is liberation from tiny buttons that require a spotlight to find and set, only to let you discover that you set the alarm for 7 at night instead of 7 in the morning. There will be no mistake with this, because it audibly repeats every command back to you. Especially for people who have difficulty seeing, this would be greatly received.

The bad: The only bad thing I can say is that you do have to speak in a clear voice when giving commands. You can't whisper "snooze" and get the clock to respond. You have to speak more loudly, which may upset a bedmate whose alarm won't sound till much later. There is, however, another easily accessed button on the side that you can push to engage the 9-minute snooze.

Cost: $19.99, plus a stiff $8.25 ground shipping.

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