Notifications of messages, calls, reminders to take medication or not to miss an important meeting, the birthday of a loved one, and so on have long been an integral part of our lives. A modern person receives hundreds of such messages a day, but now they are concentrated mainly in our smartphones, “smart” watches, and computers. Some of them are already being transferred to the gadgets of the “smart” home, where voice assistants already “live” by the bed, in the kitchen, in the living room, and so on.
In its new concept, Google has gone a little further, reviewing the approach to some notifications and how they interact with the user. The project is called Google Little Signals.
The base is the devices that can be located in different parts of the house and report something in six ways to interact with different gadgets that can knock, cast shadows or “soothing sounds”, move, and blow. The demo also has a separate device button.
All of them allow the user to receive some information from the surroundings, and not because of the already familiar version of the screen of your smartphone. For example, a separate device can knock on the jars of vitamins, reminding about them, or blow on a houseplant, creating a movement around the user and thus reporting something. Though, with some examples, it’s more difficult to understand how good the idea is, as with the “mushroom”, which simply creates a shadow around itself.
In any case, this is just the beginning of an experiment from Google. The concept itself looks more or less interesting, but it will be needed to bring it to a ready-made solution with clearer instructions and practical applications. At present, it is difficult to imagine how a shadow or a light breeze should inform a person who is focused on work, training, or an interesting movie.
The company will not mind hearing the opinions of enthusiasts and engineers about this idea, so anybody can take part in the experiment.