Ambient Devices Partner with Google For Some Participatory Design

Following in the steps of the widely popular ambient orb, which changes colors based on a wide selection of data, almost anything you set it to for that matter, Google have partnered with a new company that are looking to use a similar type of technology to help you to stay on top of your life. 

For those of you who are not aware the ambient orb is a small ball which glows different colors depending on certain pieces of information. For example you may wish to be alerted with a blue light when one of your stocks has risen in price, or perhaps when you have used up too much energy in your office. The Ambient Clock is something very similar and partnering with Google may be the smartest thing which they have done so far.

In a Nutshell

The Ambient Clock is currently in beta version which will sit on your Google homepage, the neat trick which the clock will do is to tally up with your Google calendar and then alert you when something is coming up. To do this the clock will glow various colors and have a line of text to remind you of exactly what the appointment is. For example you will see a nice and warm yellow glow when something is coming up, which swiftly changes to red if you haven’t acknowledged what you have to do. 

Hardware

The company have spoken candidly about their desire to create a hardware model of the clock and roll it out, the current online version is only a test which will form part of their research for the real McCoy which developers are hoping won’t be far around the corner from being put into production. 

Possibilities

I really think that the guys at Ambient Clock are on to something here and tallying up with a Google calendar won’t be the only thing that it can do, in fact there are a wide range of possibilities which they could look into once they have a fully functioning prototype available. For example they could put in place a link between the clock and an email account such as my Gmail inbox, which would then automatically create an alert that I have an upcoming meeting. Alternatively it could even show my emails as they come in, there really is endless possibilities with this impressive piece of kit. 

Many extra trials are going on at the moment to see how far they may be able to take this technology and how they can ensure that it links with multiple formats and devices. We have one of the Ambient Orbs in the office and I really love how it functions, if this clock is able to match up with those kind of standards then I for one will be very happy indeed. 

This is definitely one to keep your eyes on. 

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