Ambient Umbrella
Ambient Devices, a company that brings internet information to everyday products without a PC or traditional Internet connection, has just releases two interesting new products:

  • The Ambient Umbrella is the world’s first umbrella that alerts users when rain is expected by illuminating its handle. Light patterns intuitively indicate rain, drizzle, snow, or thunderstorms.
     
  • The Energy Joule is an ambient device that alerts people when energy prices are rising or falling. The display conveys the weather forecast, the real-time cost of energy (left bar graph), the current energy usage (right bar graph), & “rewards” for using less energy. In addition, the background color shifts from green over yellow to red depending on how expensive the energy is.

Last year they also released:

  • The Market Maven displays current market information throughout the day, to bring you accurate information from the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P500.
     

  • The Weather Wizard continuously displays 5-day weather forecasts. The Weather Wizard is the size of a postcard and can easily stand on a dresser or hang on a refrigerator door. The customer simply enters a zip code and the product then shows the latest local weather forecast at all times.

All Ambient-enabled products receive data over the Ambient Devices Infocast Network(TM), a narrowband broadcast solution similar to radio. The Network reaches over 90% of U.S. households, with excellent in-building penetration in areas inaccessible to other wireless technologies. The Ambient Infocast Network provides very long battery life, which makes it the leading embedded solution for real-time information products with always-on behavior.

Ambient Devices provides a variety of data feeds or “channels,” which include local weather forecasts and traffic reports, stock market activity, sports scores, accurate network time, and more.