Ambient Devices And Pre-Attentive Processing

Posted by Ian on May 5, 2009 at 1:51 PM ET

We're fascinated by the idea of ambient devices—devices that provide you with effortless, at-a-glance access to information. We designed the Mind Lamp to be the ultimate ambient device, extending the scope of useful human-machine interaction.

An illustration of pre-attentive processing

Ambient devices take advantage of your mind's capacity for pre-attentive processing: its remarkable ability to process rich information without cognitive effort.

Traditional ambient devices turn your physical environment into an interface for information. But with the Mind Lamp, information can flow both ways: from your consciousness into the lamp, and from the lamp back to your consciousness. Traditional ambient devices bring external information to you, but the Mind Lamp can bring you information about your own mind, especially the parts of your mind that are not easy to access deliberately. The REG device inside the Mind Lamp (shown to be sensitive to intention and other aspects of consciousness) makes this possible. See the Inside The Lamp page for more information about how the lamp works, and check out Adam's post for more information about the research on REGs.