The Ambient Orb is "A glass lamp that uses color to show weather forecasts, trends in the market, or the traffic on your homeward commute."
More than that, it is a device that embodies a new design philosophy, that idea being that information should be accessible to us without intruding on our consciousness. When we want information, it requires a mental gear shift. I have to stop whichever task I'm working on and open a new window, or open my phone, or pull up a widget, or any of a thousand other little motions (virtual or physical) that pull me out of my task and into a new one.
The Ambient Orb though, is just a glass lamp that changes color. The user can set the lamp to glow orange when there are new e-mails or to to glow blue when your stock portfolio is down or any of a hundred other yes / no status indicators. The brilliance of this is that it is not distracting. It requires no stoppage other than a brief glance, even then, if the color change is slow enough, one might not notice at all until you had reached a natural stopping point in whatever it is you're working on.
While the Orb itself is a bit pricey and I don't like that it requires a power cord, rather than batteries, I love the idea behind it, the idea that information should be intuitive and understood, rather than invasive and demanding interpretation.
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