Ambient Orb power-usage hack reduces energy consumption by 40% – Engadget

Ambient Orb power-usage hack reduces energy consumption by 40% – Engadget

I used to have one of these. Actually I probably have it out in the shed somewhere. The Ambient Orb is an orb of frosted glass that is lit from within by an led that is capable of a large range of colors. The orb used a cellular pager system to receive data like stock quotes and weather. When the orb received this data it would pulse in different color shades corresponding to the data; stock goes down it pulses red, stock goes up green, etc.

Ambient also offered a developer system whereby you could create your own data “feeds” that you could subscribe your orb to. At the time a friend and I were working on an enterprise patch management system. We had the neat idea that we could distill all this patch status data down to a continuum representing the overall threat to a computer network. We could then generate one of these orb data feeds using this continuum. The end effect would be that a network admin could have one of these slick little orbs sitting on his desk and would know at a glance how safe his network was by the color the orb was displaying. Cool eh?

After some work with varying success (I don’t think Ambients’ network was quite up to snuff yet) we got distracted and moved on. Even though it didn’t work it was still a good idea.

Thanks for your time, MJ

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