Why you should care
Here is another device to calm your FOMO.
Face it: We’re addicted to our notifications. We can get alerts on our phones and watches, and even our cars are equipped to accept calls and allow us to update our Twitter status. We always want to be in the know, and now even your light fixture can keep you up-to-date with your real and virtual life.
The Notti Light is a lamp that turns your room into a rave and lets you know when you’ve got a new Facebook friend request. Whatever notifications you usually get on your phone, you can receive via the lamp, which will glow or flash with an advertised “million shades” to choose from. The goal? You don’t need to check your phone every two minutes. The lamp, which has a 49-foot wireless range, is connected via Bluetooth to an app where you can control settings like the default light color and an alarm — where the light slowly warms up to your color of choice, complete with music — and choose which color you’d like to correspond to each notification. At just under 4 inches tall and weighing just over 3 ounces, the “polygonical” (eight-sided) lamp is portable and small enough to travel with its user.
The lamp filters out “all the noise” produced by our gadgets, reducing the need to check our phones constantly.
Alfred Wong, the CEO of Hong Kong-based Witti, which makes the lamps, says that they want the device to help people focus on what matters most, by “filter[ing] out all the noise” produced by our gadgets, reducing the need to check our phones constantly. Last fall its Kickstarter raised more than $55,000 in 30 days, and sales of the $59.99 device have been “in the thousands,” says Madison McClymonds, a senior account executive for Max Borges Agency, which represents Notti. A step up from the Notti is the Dotti ($79), a lamp with an 8-by-8 pixel grid that displays customs icons and animations that users create themselves using the app.
But relying on your lamp to let you know you’ve got a phone call or Facebook friend request? Or the first time you receive a string of texts at 2 a.m., turning your room into a neon disco … how long before the novelty wears off? Superfluously connected devices (we’re looking at you, Web-enabled fridge) can be “trivial” and “gimmicky,” says Jim Tully, an analyst with Gartner.com who headed a 2014 study on the proliferation of the Internet of Things. But still, he doesn’t think there’s such a thing as being “too connected.”
Even Wong says the lamp is more for fun, although he believes it has the potential to make life more convenient. For example, visual notification features are gaining popularity in the hearing-impaired community. Much like how smartphones narrowed the communication gap between the hearing-impaired and those who don’t know sign language, light and color do what a notification tone can’t.
What the Notti offers is another option to stay connected — and keep our #FOMO at bay. And really, although the concept may seem a little silly to some, wouldn’t you rather wake up in the middle of the night and make note of the color of your lamp instead of groping for your phone and searing your retina with its hellish white glow?