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Layer’s Concept T Routers: A Glimpse into the Future of Connectivity

Layer's Concept T Routers: A Glimpse into the Future of Connectivity

British design studio Layer has developed prototypes for three innovative internet routers, one of which can facilitate holographic video chats reminiscent of those seen in Star Wars. This project, named Concept T, was a collaboration between Layer and Deutsche Telekom’s Design and Customer Experience team to explore the future of communication and connectivity.

The project introduces three potential new products, each combining existing router functionalities with additional features or proposing novel ways of utilizing the device. Concept View, for instance, is a holographic smart home hub that projects three-dimensional visuals in a dome over the base unit, akin to the holoprojector devices depicted in the Star Wars franchise.

Layer's Concept T Routers: A Glimpse into the Future of Connectivity

Layer envisions this hub as a tool for visualizing and managing other home devices, interacting with an AI-driven virtual assistant, and conducting video calls with individuals and data appearing as 3D holograms. On the other hand, Concept Level maintains traditional router functions but incorporates modularity, allowing users to customize a sculptural object that suits their home and can be adjusted and enhanced as necessary.

Layer's Concept T Routers: A Glimpse into the Future of Connectivity

The various modules of Concept Level include a WiFi-sensing component, a mesh repeater for extending WiFi coverage, and a computational module for Web3 applications like blockchain verification. Lastly, Concept Buddy envisions a mobile router in the form of a friendly robot assistant, capable of displaying information on its head unit or projecting it onto surfaces. This robot could assist with tasks such as monitoring smart home systems, conducting video calls, or even providing air quality reports.

Layer's Concept T Routers: A Glimpse into the Future of Connectivity

Layer has successfully developed a fully functional prototype of the holographic smart home hub and semi-functional prototypes of Level and Buddy, each equipped with operational displays and lighting. Benjamin Hubert, the founder of Layer, shared with urdesignmag that the Concept T project was motivated by the aim of “enhancing the router”.

“Routers are indispensable yet often concealed, tucked away in cupboards or placed on the floor,” he remarked. “While they serve a fundamental purpose, they have the potential to offer so much more to truly become the most indispensable device you own for enhancing your connectivity experience.”

Layer's Concept T Routers: A Glimpse into the Future of Connectivity

Hubert further added, “The common thread among these concepts perhaps prompts the question: should a router be more prominently positioned and utilized in your living space?”

In the View model, he explained that the holographic display brings loved ones, information, and AI more emotionally into the room, breathing life into “connectivity in all its forms”.

Layer's Concept T Routers: A Glimpse into the Future of Connectivity

Regarding the modular Level router, the objective is once again to establish a more emotional bond with an object, this time by personalizing it and making it decorative.

“Since no two lives are identical, some individuals may require more computing power to handle Web 3.0 tasks, while others may desire a display to better comprehend their connectivity or the status of their home,” Hubert stated. “This choice, combined with the added appeal of incorporating more visual interest to your router, culminated in the creation of Level.”

Layer's Concept T Routers: A Glimpse into the Future of Connectivity

As for Buddy, an emotional connection is fostered through the anthropomorphized form with expressive blinking “eyes”, while the additional assistance functionality positions the router as a more indispensable product.

“The trend looks to try and create literal and metaphorical vehicles that demystify and make AI more approachable by giving it more human and emotional qualities – without becoming overbearing or uncanny,” concludes Hubert.