The Ambient Orb
April 17, 2003 2:29 AM   Subscribe

The Ambient Orb No, not a prog-rock-house fusion band... But a little wireless egg, that sits on your desk, talks to your dataflows, and glows appropriately. Stocks up? Glows green. Lover online? Glows red. You calibrate the frosted glass through "thousands of colours". These design jockeys think it could be cooler though. Already, though, the idea is really mellowing me out. "The Lava Lamp of the 21st Century"...
posted by theplayethic (13 comments total)
And look at all these other ambient things! I love the ambient pinwheel. Their design philosophy page is also nicely done, and thought provoking. Is this what Eno was on about all these years?
posted by theplayethic at 2:56 AM on April 17, 2003

Does it vibrate?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:38 AM on April 17, 2003

Past discussion here
posted by jeremias at 5:31 AM on April 17, 2003

Thanks jeremias, I knew I'd seen this before here (and in the NYT).

Ambient Information is an area of my research in graduate school. We're building a tool that can represent many more information elements. It's a painting that you'd hang on your wall. Elements in the painting would change based on traffic, email, bank account balances, stock market stuff, weather, etc. Download a working system here (data is good for Atlanta, GA only, so it won't be useful to everyone. sorry.)

You can see where they stole their pinwheels idea from -- Ishii's lab at MIT. Videos available.
posted by zpousman at 5:50 AM on April 17, 2003

urk, I don't know if I'd pay 200+ for an ambient easter egg. neat idea though.
posted by dreamling at 6:34 AM on April 17, 2003

Aren't "they" (whoever they is) doing something like this to sniff wireless networks? The bauble or egg or whatever will glow when its in the presence of WiFi or something?
posted by TeamBilly at 6:41 AM on April 17, 2003

Gad, sorry about near double-post. Must be more Boolean in my MeFi-searching.
posted by theplayethic at 6:48 AM on April 17, 2003

It's quite cool. But too expensive and a little limited in use. If it was a little smaller and maybe had someway to ask it questions - like instead of set for just stocks, being able toshake it a certain way and havce it report weather, stocks, or maybe some other stuff.
posted by tomplus2 at 7:10 AM on April 17, 2003

Build an ambient orb yourself. I'm definately going to make one of these soon, and as tomplus2 suggested I'm going to try to get two-way communication in there, should give a lot more options.
posted by fvw at 8:51 AM on April 17, 2003

fvw -- this Nate True is some kind of hilarious supergenius...i checked out the rest of his site and discovered a styrofoam monkey-god temple! woah! :-)
posted by serafinapekkala at 12:16 PM on April 17, 2003

Ambient Orb, so hot right now, Ambient Orb!!!
posted by prototype_octavius at 1:54 PM on April 17, 2003

You can see where they stole their pinwheels idea from
As "Dr. Ishii is Ambient's advisor and intellectual leader", I don't think you can call it stealing.
posted by dchase at 5:03 PM on April 17, 2003

Oh, I guess you're right. Sorry. If Ishii's going to get rich off the ambient revolution too, then I'm all for it.
posted by zpousman at 12:53 PM on April 21, 2003

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