Ambient Devices Uses Google Gadgets to Reinvent Clock


Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) November 2, 2006

If you’re a Google fan, Ambient Devices needs your help to design its next product: a tabletop clock that displays your Google Calendar schedule — without a PC or internet connection.

Google Calendar is ideal when you’re sitting in front of your computer screen. But what about when you’re away from your computer? One glance at the new Ambient Clock — a little bigger than a deck of cards — will remind you what and when your next meeting is.

CEO David Rose remarked “A clock is a perfect example of an Ambient device: Non-intrusive. Glanceable. Undemanding. Uncomplicated. Quietly waiting in your periphery for you to attend to it. We’re proud that we’ve been able to add a subtle layer of daily schedule information around the perimeter of a time-tested, pervasive device: the clock.”

The product development process is just as exciting as the product itself: Ambient invites anyone to setup a personal online version of the clock at The online version of the clock will then appear on users’ Google Homepage or Google Desktop.

Online Ambient Clock users are invited to evaluate various designs and provide feedback. This process enables Ambient Devices to garner input directly from Google Calendar users. This population consists largely of “Lead Users,” defined by Dr. Eric von Hippel from the MIT Sloan School of Management as customers at the “leading edge” that are currently experiencing needs that will later be experienced by the majority (of the online calendar population).

The project lead for the Ambient Clock is Sanjay Vakil, an MIT PhD who has developed next generation aircraft cockpit displays. Vakil commented that “This is the first time a web-based Google Gadget is being used by thousands of customers to refine a tangible product in development. The process provides crucial insights through customer feedback into preferences and usage patterns and allows rapid design iterations.”

Ambient will select the winning clock design to manufacture and market based on design feedback from the online gadget. The Ambient Clock is expected to launch in 2007.

About Ambient Devices

Ambient makes Internet information as easy to check as the time. Now Internet information can be embedded in everyday objects, making the physical environment a simple interface to digital information. Colors glow to indicate energy pricing, analog meters reflect market trends, electronic post-it-notes show commute congestion, your daily schedule is superimposed on a clock, and when rain is forecast your umbrella handle illuminates.

Ambient’s technology powers embedded wireless applications for companies in consumer electronics, transportation, energy, and healthcare.