The growth of an internet of things, sensor networks and ad-wireless networks will lead to interesting innovations. One of the things that I am eagerly awaiting is designed and authenticated environments. If you add biometrics to the above list of trendy things you see how that could happen. A quick biometric scan when you enter an environment and suddenly the environment is looked up with an environment service provider and everything, music, sound, light and temperature is adapted to you.
Current scenarios for ambient intelligence are more about what machines work together, but it seems far more interesting to think about what different environments can be instantiated around an individual in general.
Or negotiated with others — and here you could imagine an enormous amount of weird protocols, and not all of them pleasant. Imagine a world in which you pay to impose your environment, and so the person willing to pay the most would be able to impose his or her environment on everyone else. You would literally know when someone richer – 0r more willing to pay – than you entered the room, because the room would change.
You could also imagine using other cues, like klout or social network centrality. And then, of course, the more brand aware of us would construct distinct environments to go with them. I would totally subscribe to a spooky enviroment. Lights go down, Ligeti is played and it becomes significantly cooler…
Adaptive environments are not far away, and they will boost a boom and a new sector in interior design. It will be mobile interior design, in a way. And homes will be general purpose computers to run interior scripts on. (On a more serious note this is something that is already discussed by researchers helping others to overcome different disabilities, and an important field for research.)
An interesting question emerges from all of this: what around you could be a computer and what would it mean for it to run software? A home is already a computer running a very slow interior design script in one sense. Just increase speed and capacity and you get the mobile, ambient, intelligent and adaptive (buzzword bingo!) environment.