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Ambient Content: What is it?

Posted by Daniel Maxson on September 13, 2008

On September 12th, Marc Kempter introduced as to ambient content, a new form of media.

Ambient content is an answer to a problem. That problem is that a large TV is just a silent black box when it’s not being used. It doesn’t contribute much to the ambient mood of a room.

Marc and his colleagues hope that their ambient content can change that. For those familiar with ambient music, this is the next step. The TV screen can play a non-intrusive video that can either entertain or blend into the background.

The general reaction from the audience was, “Well, isn’t this just like a screensaver for a television screen?” But Marc pointed out that the significant difference was that a screensaver is not meant to entertain. In contrast, ambient content is a piece of art. It is meant to contribute to the overall mood in a room.

Two examples he gave that will be familiar to regular internet-users were that of the fireplace and aquarium screensavers. They take the place of a screensaver, but they can also be a piece of art. He argued that those are just the first primitive examples of ambient content, and that soon ambient content will actually be sold in video stores and through online sources such as iTunes.

When asked who would produce the content, he explained that at first the tools will only be available to commercial producers, but that developers of the tools are working very hard to make the tools accessible to everyone, in keeping with the age of user-generated content


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