The Ambient Life

What would life look like when it interacts with my surroundings through me?

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Every once in a while a “visionary” video drifts into the cloud called Internet. This time the video is called ‘The Ambient Life’ and was created for Freeband, a Dutch researchprogram in which a.o. Philips and Delft University participate. The video tries to show a glimpse of the future they want to see, a future where you are ‘surrounded by “intelligent” electronic equipment that can provide almost all of your information and communication needs on demand: an ambient intelligent environment.’


The Ambient Life from Buro Knapzak on Vimeo.

What I notice in this movie is an ambient life doesn’t necessarily mean that people are interacting more with systems, but the other way around. Systems are interacting with me, my body and surroundings. At the same time the systems are interacting with each other, exchaning data… and from that point they can start interacting with other people. So in a way this means that my everyday (inter)actions will cause a ripple of interactions around me, mostly invisible for me. Will this result in a new kind of serendipity? Because my environment is being pushed in a direction because of my actions… changing every ‘regular’ flow. Or am I seeing things that aren’t there?

Jeroen van Geel

Jeroen van Geel is founder/chief kahuna of Johnny Holland and the interaction director at Fabrique [brands, design & interaction], a Dutch multidisciplinary design agency. You can follow him on Twitter via @jeroenvangeel.

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