Paul Lamkin, co-founder of Wareable and new sister site The Ambient, explains why he set up a site dedicated to smart homes with fellow co-founder James Stables, the site’s audience and the item he’d buy for a smart home.
Can you give us a brief description of The Ambient?
The Ambient is designed to be the first and last word in the smart home. We’re dedicated to demystifying this new world of connected home technology. We’re here to test and review the best gear on the market, explain how to get your smart home up-and-running and show you how to get the most from it. And perhaps most importantly, we’ll be charting what’s next.
Why focus on smart homes?
When we launched Wareable, we noticed that wearable tech wasn’t a clear focus for any of the other mainstream tech sites – so we decided to try and fill that gap and become the voice of authority for an emerging consumer tech genre. It’s the same idea behind The Ambient – no one is giving the smart home the justice it deserves, it should be much more than just a note on the site.
How is the site different to Wareable?
It’s not about wearable tech. In all seriousness, the editorial values are the same and we’re very much pitching The Ambient as not just another tech site. As with Wareable, it’s a site that blurs the boundaries of tech, lifestyle, fashion and a whole lot more.
What sort of content will be featured on the website?
We’re committed to recommending the best in smart home technology – and that means testing things properly. The rise of smart speakers and assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Siri through Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant have proven themselves to be the missing link to truly smart homes.
These devices have brought ambient computing – the idea of having AI all around us – to the masses. But with that comes a whole set of new questions for consumers. We’ll be providing in-depth reviews, detailed missing manuals, how-to hacks and a whole lot more.
How does setting up The Ambient compare with founding Wareable?
We know what we’re doing this time, we’re not just making it up as we go along! It’s much easier as we know the process of what building a site from scratch – both on the back end and the front end – involves.
Who is the site targeted at?
Our readers want to enjoy a smarter home and an easier life without compromises. They want to benefit from better and more enjoyable experiences in the home and impress their friends, without having to ruin the aesthetics of their home. Tech now goes hand-in-hand with great design.
We’re certainly looking at tech enthusiasts and early adopters but users focused on outcomes and driven by design. Yes they’re passionate about their home but no-one gets excited about a thermostat or a light bulb.
This readership will be passionate about their home more so than the tech. They’re not willing to tolerate ugly and difficult tech in their home.
An element of growing The Ambient will be reaching consumers that are new to the smart home. People who aren’t shy to take plunge with new technology and will proudly show it off to their friends.
What is your relationship with PRs? How can they pitch to and help The Ambient?
James (Stables), Sophie (Charara) and I have all been in the consumer tech world for a decade or more now, so we’ve built some great relationships. We’re just looking for people to help us that will understand the brand and the sort of tech we cover.
Finally, if you had to choose one item to have in your smart home, what would it be?
The smart robot that LG just announced at CES that serves you beer (maybe).