TOY BOX: Ambient adds color to art of forecasting

On the original Star Trek series, things always seemed to glow and blink.

On the original Star Trek series, things always seemed to glow and blink.

In the real world, there's now a new group of what's being called "glanceable" devices that you look at to see the color they're glowing and glean information from that color.

Cambridge, MA-based Ambient Devices offers the Ambient Weather Beacon, a box-shaped object that changes colors to tell you the temperature and other weather conditions, such as impending storms.

The beacon works off a wireless signal sent to wherever you are. You visit the Ambient website, type in your zip code, and the Ambient system knows which weather forecast to send.

Your personalized homepage shows the color the beacon should be so that you can check to make sure yours is working properly.

I put mine in my front window and it looked like something Mr. Spock would meditate over. It looks cool, but I'm not sure it's cool enough to justify the price just yet. My daughter loves it though. Maybe I'm just too old to appreciate forecasting by color. I'm still a word guy.

Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to toybox@prweek.com

  • John N. Frank writes Toy Box. He is the Chicago-based Midwest bureau chief for PRWeek.

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