During a discussion last week I was commenting on my Ambient Orb and how it is one of the coolest devices in the market. This cool piece of hardware has served as a conversation piece for anyone who walks by my office, and is currently configured to display the health my entire investment portfolio. When I was looking to purchase a house last year, I linked it to the local market rates with an extremely tight tolerance and was able to have my mortgage guy execute on my loan application and in return I saved a small amount of money (more than enough to pay for the orb itself).
Today, anyone can leverage this technology to monitor any type of information. In my case I built a module that will allow you to plug this technology into any Xcelsius dashboard. There are a few basic steps to enable your dashboard to pass information to your ambient orb.
1. Once you purchase your orb, go to the Ambient Devices website and setup an account that allows you to add your own channel.
2. Obtain your orb ID located at the bottom of your orb, and enter it into the excel model.
3. Configure the tolerances in the model, based on the values you will receive from your connected source. One tolerance is for color and the second is for blink speed, which means you can visualize two values on the device.
4. Make sure the web service URL is configured to connect to ambient devices. (Data>XML Map Options…)
5. Connect your model to refresh with live data from any data source (BI, CRM, etc..)
6. Setup the refresh rate. *Note that depending where you live you can expect up to 20 minute transmitting latency for your orb to change color.
7. Generate your SWF file
8. Vuala! Your SWF will now dictate the color of your ambient orb.
Download the source files
So when Christmas rolls around next year you can be a hero: Give your VP an easy way to monitor their most important key performance indicator, and a cool looking glowing tech-toy for their office. You will be a hero going into the next year!