How cool would it be to glance at a small, unobtrusive object sitting on your desk and instantly know the status of a server? Sure, you could take the time to ping the IP, but does the command line glow in a multitude of colors? I think not.
From the Ambient website:
The Ambient Orb may look like a crystal ball on acid, but it’s really more of a giant mood ring–plugged straight into the fluctuations of the stock market or anything else you care to track. The orb can be wirelessly configured to track any individual stock, any market index or your personal portfolio. “People want information, but they don’t want to invest a lot of time in getting it,” says Ambient president David Rose. “This makes getting information a ‘glanceable’ thing.”
Other possible applications:
- Instantly know whether your website is up
- At a glance knowledge if the scheduled cron job was successful.
- Instant notification if billybob03 is online.
- http://blogs.msdn.com/mswanson/articles/169058.aspx — in which Michael Swanson makes the orb resemble the state of their latest project build
- http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/5da2/ — buy it!
- http://www.ambient411.com — The unofficial Ambient orb fan site
- http://www.ambientdevices.com/developer/OrbWDK.pdf — (pdf) insert your custom data
Now if only I was in the Ambient Information Network coverage area.