The ambient orb is a small wireless device constructed to provide information without being intrusive.
The orb itself is a sligtly flattened sphere approximately 5 inches in diameter. The 'orb' part of it is frosted glass. The base, which holds the inner workings (some LED lights, the power input, and a button that resets/changes the intensity of the light).
The device recieves a wireless signal updating its information on a regular basis. The updating is easily missed and looks like the orb is taking a breath. Owners can use the ambient orb website to pick what information that the orb will provide. The standard package allows for US stock information as well as weather for a few big cities. The premium service will allow the user to see more personalized information, such as weather for a particular local or traffic conditions in your city.
The orb provides information based on a color scheme. For instance, a light green could indicate temperatures in the 60's, while a light blue would indicate temperatures in the 40's (temperatures in Farhenheit).
The device doesn't hook into a computer. The orb is constructed to be always on, and uses very little energy.
The company, Ambient Devices, also sells other devices, such as a beacon, that are similar in nature.
After having the device for over six months, I have decided that it is a calming way of providing data. I have my orb set for the forcast for my city. I no longer have to multitask and strain to listen for the weather, or actively look up the weather. The orb is always on allowing me to unconciously know the weather forecast.
Several times, the orb has reminded me to take an umbrella when walking the dog.
Information was gleaned from ambientdevices.com and my own experiences