Two friends create a small app within a popular, pocket sized device. It can connect one person with a destination to another with the means to get them there.

It is a seemingly simple system.

Input address.
Push button.
Enter car.

Yet, when this seemingly simple system scales atop a planetary computing infrastructure, something else happens.

Many people input an address, and push the button, and many cars arrive to take them to their destinations.

And now, this seemingly simple system is interfacing and unexpectedly influencing complex economic, social and political systems in cities across the planet.

It is reshaping the transportation habits of millions.

It is reducing public transportation ridership.

It has created an entirely new class of contract worker. Some happy, some sad.

It has destroyed the value of the medallions - licences - used to manage the regulated taxi industry.

And it has created entirely new political discourse atop political ire.

Ambient Product Design is a design language for the creation of harmonious interfaces within planetary scale computing.

It encourages adaptability in the face of complexity.

The creation of playgrounds over paths.

And Ecologies over artifacts.

An Ambient Story
Alex Singh