Calm Tech Products Featured Across CES 2023 — Including mui Lab’s Calm Sleeping Space!

Amber Case visiting mui Lab team members Kaz Oki and Akiko Moriguchi at CES

If you’re at CES 2023, I hope you stop by Venetian Expo Level 2, Booth #50027 for a demo of Calm Sleeping Space from mui Lab, a Kyoto-based startup that I am very honored to advise.

The company is built on Calm Tech principles; their team even worked with a Japanese publisher to release a translated version of Calm Technology available in stores.

Originally an award-winning Kickstarter project, mui Lab won a CES Innovation Award in both 2019 and 2022. The startup creates IoT interfaces that enable calm digital living; the Lab’s design approach also incorporates the Taoist philosophy of mui shizen; which they interpret as “letting it be, or being oneself, as meant by nature”.

mui Lab displays technology under a delicate wood veneer that disappears when not in use and becomes a beautiful piece of furniture. The timer function allows you to draw with your finger how long you’d like the timer to be, perfect for dimming a light at night when you’re reading in bed.

I’ve been working with mui Lab for some time. I visited Kyoto last May to see what mui Lab was making and gave a few workshops on Calm Technology. I also provided feedback on some of their upcoming products and designs, including their exhibit at Milan Design week.

Visit to mui Lab headquarters in Japan May 2022

After many years of talking with them, they made me an official advisor of the company in May! I was also able to review their upcoming ideas for their Calm Bedroom. The product helps people wake up and go to sleep in a more harmonious way, offering a graceful alternative to waking up with a phone and immediately being exposed to stressful media information.

mui Labs will showcase the second-gen mui Board and concept of Calm Technology at CES 2023. Image: Mui Labs

From the official announcement:

Head to booth #50027 at the Venetian Expo Level 2. I’d love to know what you think!

Calm Tech Being Adopted Across Technology & Automotive Companies

I’m also thrilled to say that many other companies will debut Calm Tech-influenced products at CES 2023 and beyond. Although Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown outlined a few concepts, I spent years expanding the notion of Calm Technology into eight core principles that many companies are using today:

Google adopted Calm Tech principles through its Digital Wellbeing initiative, adapting principle from the book in partnership with a Portland-based agency; one of tech giant’s labs, Little Signals, is explicitly based on Calm Technology, while its Advanced Technology Group is working with Calm Tech ideas.

Microsoft adopted Calm Tech principles for Windows 11, changed its audio cues to be more relaxing. (You can hear some of the Win 11 sounds at the bottom of this post.)

Samsung recently adopted Calm Technology principles as CNET recently reported, “smoothing out the process of linking smart devices to work together instantly… [and include] more integrations with devices for energy, pets and cooking as well as Samsung’s Hub Everywhere.”

Several car manufacturers have been responding to Calm Tech and the distracting touchscreens in current cars. After writing articles about automotive touchscreens and the colors of display screens in cars, I recently began working with several car companies on their future interiors.

The Japanese translation of Calm Technology by BNN (JP language book link)

I’ll have much more to share later this month. Meantime, if you’re in Vegas during CES, please connect and get in touch!

To see Mui’s Calm Bedroom — stop by Venetian Expo Level 2, Booth #50027 between 5–7 January 2023!

You can follow me online at @caseorganic if you’d like to follow some live reporting from the conf!

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Amber Case

Design advocate, speaker and author of Calm Technology. Former Research Fellow at MIT Media Lab and Harvard BKC. Co-founder DAO DAO.