Layer & Deutsche Telekom Humanise Smart Home Tech

Published 29 March 2024

2 min read

German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom has partnered with British design firm Layer to create a conceptual wi-fi router range that explores how smart home devices can be made more engaging and appealing.

The Concept T range includes three disparate wi-fi router concepts. The first – Buddy – is a robotic companion that can move freely throughout the home. It functions as a home hub that lets users monitor and interact with other smart devices via a display in its ‘head’, which responds with facial expressions. It can also project information onto a surface, such as a table or wall.

Also in the collection, Level reimagines a wi-fi router as a decorative home object. The device features a sleek bar with geometrically shaped functional elements (such as a wi-fi sensing unit and mesh repeater) placed on top. It’s fully modular, allowing users to add or remove elements to cater for their smart home needs as well as upgrade components as new technologies become available.

Lastly, the View home hub is a glass orb that displays information via holographic imagery. The device features a friendly artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, which takes the form of a human face users can talk to. It also enables holographic calls, letting consumers enjoy realistic face-to-face conversations through two View devices.

These conceptual projects forecast a more human-centric approach to hardware design. By harnessing innovative colour, materials and finish (CMF) design that disguises tech as home décor and interactive displays that allow for more emotive communication, they propose inviting smart home set-ups that nurture rather than overwhelm users.

Concept T was launched as part of the Mobile World Congress 2024. See our report for full coverage of the event. And read Design for Deceleration for further inspiration.

The Concept T range includes three disparate wi-fi router concepts. The first – Buddy – is a robotic companion that can move freely throughout the home. It functions as a home hub that lets users monitor and interact with other smart devices via a display in its ‘head’, which responds with facial expressions. It can also project information onto a surface, such as a table or wall.

Also in the collection, Level reimagines a wi-fi router as a decorative home object. The device features a sleek bar with geometrically shaped functional elements (such as a wi-fi sensing unit and mesh repeater) placed on top. It’s fully modular, allowing users to add or remove elements to cater for their smart home needs as well as upgrade components as new technologies become available.

Lastly, the View home hub is a glass orb that displays information via holographic imagery. The device features a friendly artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, which takes the form of a human face users can talk to. It also enables holographic calls, letting consumers enjoy realistic face-to-face conversations through two View devices.

These conceptual projects forecast a more human-centric approach to hardware design. By harnessing innovative colour, materials and finish (CMF) design that disguises tech as home décor and interactive displays that allow for more emotive communication, they propose inviting smart home set-ups that nurture rather than overwhelm users.

Concept T was launched as part of the Mobile World Congress 2024. See our report for full coverage of the event. And read Design for Deceleration for further inspiration.

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom

Layer x Deutsche Telekom