Pervasive Visualisation

googleclock_byambient_v3.gifWe have seen the face of the near future with embedded displays in refrigerators and RFID tags so you can track a parcel as it speeds (hopefully) on its way. One of the companies doing some innovative work in this area is Ambient. I recalled their wonderful glowing sphere that reacted to the changes in a particular stock price, or the weather using a wireless connection internet connection. Cool, but not something that I would immediately jump at. A trial balloon they have raised lately has me a little more interested. They call it the Ambient Clock and it has a unique way of visualizing your appointments for the day, wirelessly acquired from your Goggle calendar. Cool. But its really the visualisation of this information that captures the imagination. The Ambient Clock shows booked time as solid bars stretching around the ‘face’ of the clock. It further calculates travel time based on information in the Google calendar and shows ‘prep’ or travel time as a dotted leader to the event bar. The face of the clock changes colour to indicate whether there are no pending appointments (blue) to yellow for an appointment within 10 minutes and finally to orange during an event.
Currently, Ambient is offering the clock as a Google widget and functions as though an actual physical object. They offer that if there is interest they might produce a few. This is something I could really see sticking up on the fridge or some other convenient surface.

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