Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino developed the Good Night Lamp, maybe the first take on sociable lighting:
As we move towards a society of single households, our notion of community will change. Keeping in touch with people will gradually become more than being “always on, sometimes off”. We will learn to share parts of our lives with our families, friends and lovers in more subtle ways with the help of an ever sensitive, invisible and intelligent technology.The Good Night Lamp project is a family of lamps which allow people to communicate the act of coming back home to their loved ones, remotely.
While the website doesn’t really give away much about the way the Good Night Lamp is going to work, it’s pretty cool. So far, most of our remote social interaction takes place around our computers or phones. Obviously, that’s not the most perfect solution: I don’t think anybody would complain about spending more time away from their screens but still being in touch with their friends. Communicating our status more implicitly, rather than typing it up every time, would give a completely different feeling of our friends’ lives, way more intuitive. Our surrounding needs to get smarter, and more importantly, more sociable. This project is a great idea towards that goal.