Keynotes at Lift: David Rose

Great pleasure to be able to attend another talk from David Rose from Ambient Devices and Vitality Inc.

Instead of a pure transcription I’ll try to sum up some aspects of the talk. Note that does not entirely reflect what Dave meant but rather my interpretation
of the talk. Dave began by talking about clairvoyance and magics. He explained how they materialized these chimers into the well-known Orb which changes its color according to a trend. Dave then explained how ambient devices where between push and pull technologies, how they should be peripherial and seamless with the environment(s).

He explained how facinated he was by the idea of dashboards a information concentrators. He especially focused on how to design them in an ambient manner so that they do not turn into pizza-style-portals with too much information to be really integrated to the environment. In the field of weather forcast he presented a prototype he designed recently. This small black screen provides very general information and is very ambient when people are far away. As people come closer it displays more accurate information and increases the info bandwidth and concentration on the screen.


The next part of the talk was about life-cycles of nature and the way to map it as an output interface for ambient devices. As an example gardening and the growing of fruits and vegetables could be mapped to something like the Orb. As apples grow they change their colors (green to yellow to reddish…) the same pattern can be applied to ambient devices.

He then talked about monitoring the energy consumption, an especially interesting topic to us our Energie Visible project develops. He pointed at the fact that energy metering is already in place just not at the right place and not using the right human-computer interface. It is in our cellars when it should be informing us in our living room. In this field he introduced the off-the-shelves products of Ambient Devices Inc.

He went on talking about one of the products of Vitality Inc. The Glowcap is the world’s first Internet connected pill cap! It may sound silly but it actually has a number of uses. It can be used to coordinate re-fills for instance or to check whether you really take your medications. It reminds me of a paper we wrote a while ago about RFDiyin the hospital. But Glowcaps go far beyond and I think they encapsulate the evolution of the Internet of Things. From being able to identify things to being able to enhance and literally connect things..

The last project he talked about was the Ambient umbrella, that knows when it’s gonna rain. While it has not real use it makes a point: take the information away from your browser, embed the Internet into every-day objects.

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