This circular router tries to be an island of calm and privacy in your room

Home routers are often depicted as alien or futuristic objects in the room, but this privacy-focused design goes in the opposite direction to bring a sense of serenity instead.

Home networks have changed a lot in the past few years. The number of Internet-connected devices in our houses has multiplied, and that’s just counting the phones, tablets, and computers that connect to a single access point. Smart home devices often need to also connect to that same network, sometimes all of the time, often only occasionally. The more complex requirements of home networks have seen a rise in routers that try to spread the wireless waves across small spaces. Most of these routers are designed to look technical, geeky, and sometimes downright overwhelming. That doesn’t exactly help reduce mental and visual stress at home, which is why this router is designed to look like no other in an attempt to soothe people’s eyes and assuage their privacy fears.

Designer: Kritzer Design Studio

The minimalist and more human aesthetic that has started to grip computer accessories seems to have stayed clear of routers and modems. This class of devices has long passed a point where they could be conveniently hidden in a corner or on a shelf, especially considering how that could affect Wi-Fi network quality. Modern routers, especially the most advanced ones, seem to be designed to call attention to themselves by being more conspicuous. Often that’s through their sharp lines, multiple antennas, and dark, brooding colors.

The Island stands in sharp contrast to this conventional design by being round and white. There is probably no shape that is more calming than circles, so this router has five concentric circles that seem to ripple out of a central sphere. These circles also rise ever so slightly, creating the appearance of a low mountain on top of that island metaphor.

While the Island router is already visually calming, its features are also intended to relieve people’s stress, especially over their privacy on the Internet. The router offers a built-in VPN service that can hide you from malicious actors that try to snoop into your browsing activities and eventually steal your information. Ideally, this VPN is already configured out of the box, so no software or app is needed to get it working, another source of stress for some less tech-savvy users.

The Island smart router is an example of how form can still follow function, even for something as technical as a router. Playing on the metaphor of a resort island that is guarded against unwelcome intruders, the Island tries to invoke feelings of peace and calm that have become critical in today’s workplace and home offices. It doesn’t even need foreboding antennas to transmit its signals, much like many mesh routers today that have eschewed the stereotypical router design. Its minimalist design and more generic form also make it a decorative piece that you can set on your desk or even stick to your wall.