Map Project Office and Google create ambient home sensors
No more barking at Alexa and Google Assistant? Little Signals – these sculptural objects by Map Project Office and Google – are next-generation notifiers, home sensors that communicate in subtle and surprising ways
Awareness of our immediate environment is often cited as a dying sense, clouded by the fog of technology and notifications, blinded by incessant screen use and the always-on nature of modern life and work. Google’s new Little Signals home sensors project, developed by the company’s Seed Studio in collaboration with London’s Map Project Office, is a suite of ‘unassuming but charming objects’ that reinvent the art of the notification.
Strictly conceptual for the time being, Little Signals consists of six different devices, each utilising a different method of unconventional communication to attract attention without unnecessary distraction – a tightrope walk that modern technology usually fails to master.
Little Signals ambient home sensors
The six objects – Air, Button, Movement, Rhythm, Shadow, and Tap, offer an array of subtle nudges using sound, movement, and visual cues. The end result verges on the realm of hauntology, adding a barely perceptible layer of animation to the home in the form of taps, knocks, and flickering shadows.
Describing the objects as a collection of ‘thought starters’, Map Project Office and the Google Seed Studio hope this array of unassuming but charming objects are forerunners of a new era of ambient computing.
It certainly makes a change from barking at Alexa or patiently spelling things out to the Google Assistant – both devices that offer colossal improvements in convenience but hardly encourage a more reflective or contemplative approach to life.
See how each of the Little Signals communicates below. §