What’s Next: Ambient Devices

Perhaps its time now to emulate probably the first modern ubiquitous technology – the clock and the watch.

Especially given the current seemingly rampant epidemic outbreak of new technologies set to make waves in our lives in the near future.

Ambient Devices, Inc certainly thinks so.

Its banking on the idea that the next ubiquous technology are ambient interfaces that fulfill the demands of the information age. Its premise is that with information technologies creeping into our workplace, our hospitals and in our way of life, we have created a need for constant awareness of certain informations such as the status of your portfolio, the health of an aging patient or parent, weather, score of a game, heavy traffic .. and the list goes on.

A need that they predict needs an ambient interface which would make this type of information glanceable and as embedded as your watch.

Weather Beacon – $179

While the full promised practical potential of Ambient devices have yet to seen, current applications include a Weather beacon, pictured above ($179), that shows you your local weather through a special wireless radio network. Of course, this wouldn’t work so well if the weather in your area wasn’t unpredictable.

Ambient Orb – $149

Then there’s the Ambient Orb – A more flexible product that you could use to monitor not only the weather, your stock portfolio or if your boss or the person you’re stalking is on instant messenger.

Maybe even use it as a glorified babysitter in the future if you could make it show red if it detected nudity on television or on a family computer screen.

Executive Dashboard – TBA

Or you could use the Executive Dashboard that provides a little more detail with its analog display.

Future applications though seem more practical – such as the ambient panels for business purposes such as auctions, detect voicemails, a keychain that detects the amount of traffic, and a Health watch that shows prescription related lights that are completely synchronized with doctor recommended medication times. Its great for old folks.

Also in the works is an expansion on the idea by including form, movement and sound to future ambient devices.

After all, why waste a perfectly good physical environment.


William Taggart writes in to say:
“There are thousands of candidates for this honor (modern ubiquous technology) but my vote would go to the written word, which predates mechanical timekeeping by many thousands of years.” Honest mistake. I meant “Gadget”.

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