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For those of us who spend hours at a desk each day, our cubicles become as important as our bedrooms. We fill our workspaces with mugs, pictures, and other knickknacks to make the environment feel cozier but also to remind us of the outside world.
Last week, Golden-based LED lighting company EarthLED started shipping a new trinket for our tabletops: ORBneXt, a cube-shaped device that tracks data through a Wi-Fi connection and glows a certain color when a specific threshold is reached ($129 at ORBneXt.com). For instance, you can set your orb to glow red when the temperature hits 70 degrees, or blue when the Broncos score a touchdown.
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ORBneXt is an updated version of the Ambient Orb, an early 2000s-era gadget that glowed when it received data through a pager, often after a delay of 15 to 20 minutes. Users can set the 4″ x 4″ x 4″ cube to glow any color they want, but EarthLED managing director Mark Costigliola says ORBneXt’s temperature program is preset to a certain range of intuitive colors (ranging from blue for cold, to red for hot). Eventually, Costigliola hopes to turn ORBneXt into a more extensive machine that not only compiles information, but also controls functions in your home or office, such as the thermostat and the lights.
To set up ORBneXt, use the complimentary USB cord to connect it to an outlet or your computer. Then download the app “blink.n.play” on your Android or iPhone, place the orb on top of your phone’s screen, and wait for the timer to count down. Your phone will flash and transfer a Wi-Fi connection to ORBneXt. Watch the video below for further proof that this strange process actually works.
Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.