New Technology Uses 'Glanceable' Objects

Yahoo! News has a story about something that looks like a "size-XXXL chicken egg and glows in colors that change and waver in intensity as it tracks qualitative shifts in financial data from the Internet. But the white plastic Orb was designed to be far more than a barometer of the Dow Jones Industrial average, it's programmed out-of-the-box function."
"Ambient users have programmed Orbs for a remarkable array of tasks: tracking job openings in Atlanta, measuring the flow of visitors to a Boston-based interactive design agency's Web site, gauging energy use in a New York City apartment, tracking eBay auctions, notifying someone when a particular person is online or a certain number of e-mails have filled their inbox."

"When you think about the magic of the Orb, it's a thermometer for the rest of your life," said author Seth Godin, who writes on business and social trends. Godin hopes to program his Orb to track sales of his books on Amazon.com to save time and "increase my peace of mind."

"The Orb's power lies in how can reflect the ease with which humans process basic visual information."

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