Google has been exploring new ways to notify users through devices or systems that are less intrusive than a smartphone notification sound. As a result, the Mountain View company launched Little Signals, an experiment consisting of six gadgets able to offer environmental notifications which “keep us in the loop, but gently,” as the company describes on its website.
The six Google devices were designed in collaboration with the Map Project Office studio, and have a very minimalist style, with pastel tones and rounded shapes that are very reminiscent of products from the Nest range. Although they all have a mission: notify in a much more intuitive way at home using natural elementseach offers a different form of communication.
AIR one of the six gadgets announced by Google, send notifications using object movement —or the sound generated by this movement— that you have around you. It does this by using a diffuser that pushes out a small amount of air. If the device is placed near a plant, AIR can move the leaves with its air and alert the user, for example, that it is time to perform a task.
RHYTHM, another Google Experience product, generates natural sounds to alert to household members. the gadget is able to change the melody depending on the urgency of the notification. The user, moreover, can only silence it by passing their hand over it. SHADOW, on the other hand, warns by casting shadowswhich change in intensity, again, depending on the type of alert.
Google Little Signals or how to make notifications not so annoying
The remaining three devices that Google showed off, although they don’t use as many natural elements as AIR, RHYTHM or SHADOW, also allow the user to be alerted in a much more serene way concerning, for example, the sound of an alarm. the gadget MOVEMENT has seven pins that rise to different levels to represent graphical information, such as a timer. BUTTON, on the other hand, is a simple button that grows whenever you need to offer information.
Last but not least, TAP is a Google device that uses objects to produce sounds which can serve as alerts. For example, if the product is placed next to a pill box, the accompanying hands can tap the jar to alert the user that their change is due. the gadgetmoreover, he is able to adjust the intensity of the blow to make it sound louder.
Currently, these six devices are under development. It is not known if they will finally be launched on the market. Google could also have imagined them as a way to find out how to make notifications less annoying on a daily basis. The company, it should be remembered, is multiplying experiments focused on digital well-being.