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June 16th 2014 11:54 pm

Phantom gadgetry: A hair-raising awakening

This is a very bizarre, but true story that happened to me this weekend. I trim my hair with a Braun CruZer cordless buzzer, one I owned since 2011. It's served me well over the years, though it was beginning to wear down a bit (the battery wouldn't stay fully charged, for example).

I took care of my hair routine over the weekend and then put the waterproof buzzer in a dry glass in my sink (to eventually put it in the dishwasher to sanitize it). At 2:45 in the morning, I was awoken to an extremely loud jackhammer-like sound. I thought, for some bizarre reason, construction was happening in my otherwise quiet neighborhood. It turns out, the buzzer just turned itself on and as a result, was creating a vibration of that glass and other dishes against an aluminum sink. The power button was not in a position where it was pinched or able to be turned on, even if an earthquake or something moved things around. Despite repeatedly pressing the button and holding it down for a couple of minutes, it wouldn't turn off.

At this point I was even more groggy and just really wanted to go back to bed. In a semi-panic of sorts, unsure what to do, I opened my front door and threw the buzzer hard across the hall from my apartment (not near any of my neighbors doors, of course), at which point it stopped buzzing. I went back to bed and about a minute in, I heard another loud noise, this time the buzzer was back on and vibrating now across the concrete floor outside my apartment. As I lay there puzzled, I start to hear the sound fainting ever so slowly until the buzzer choked out. I remained rather spooked, so I had to take a melatonin to return back to sleep. In the morning, I took the buzzer to its proper resting place in the downstairs recycling bin.

Have you ever had an experience like this where a gadget just turned itself on, or did something incredibly out of the scope of what it's supposed to do? Share your thoughts below.

(On another note, considering I bought what was probably a $40 buzzer over 3 years ago and I replace my smartphone on an annual basis, I should probably re-think my priorities).

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I haven't had anything truly sinister like that, but I can relate to waking up and being startled by technology.

If the power goes out (and then subsequently comes back on) during the night, my printer comes to life doing its pre-boot checks. I keep my home printer turned off because it barely gets used, and its the last thing you want waking you up at 3am

Bzzzzzt. BSSSSSSHHHHH. BzzzzzzzzT. :)
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The printer I had back in the '90s used to just print out bits of code and other junk, completely unprompted by anything. Letters, numbers, pixels... just whatever. As a teenager, I used to wonder if they were alien messages.
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