Smart home camera and router concepts look like ghosts to be less conspicuous

Our homes are starting to get filled with smart gadgets, and not just the usual culprits like smartphones and tablets. From smart lamps to smart refrigerators, a lot of devices in our houses are now connecting to the Internet. While some of these try to blend in with the rest of your decor as much as they can, others just stand out like a sore thumb. Devices like home security cameras and routers still carry the aesthetics of their predecessors, which is impersonal, technical, and at times even disconcerting. While these products might be important in modern smart homes, they don’t need to be seen in order to function, which is why this concept design tries to make them almost literally fade into the background as if they were ghosts.

Designers: Seokhyun Ahn, Yejee Park, Cho Yumi, Yumin Shin, Myeongryun Kim, Dohyun Park, Lee Dahye, Kim Geonhee, Yang Yurim

We easily take for granted how things that look out of place can affect our minds and moods. Whether it’s a messy desk, a less-than-appealing piece of decoration, or clashing designs, the visual discomfort and confusion can actually bleed into your physical and mental state. They say that the best interfaces and designs are the ones that you barely notice, and what is the least noticeable thing if not a ghost?

Geist, which literally means “spirit” or “ghost,” is a concept design that tries to make those smart home devices less noticeable. Rather than having a black sphere or rectangle that feels like it’s spying on you, the John Doe ghost camera has a translucent body that almost looks like a piece of cloth flying in the wind, just like your stereotypical ghost from cartoons. It is even slanted at an angle to give the impression that it’s levitating and floating as it moves forward. It does have an “eye” for the camera, but it can turn it down to protect your privacy, indicating that it isn’t recording at the moment.

The Wi-Fi router Jane Doe takes on the shape of a gentle wisp of smoke or cloud. With an asymmetrical shape that is mounted vertically on a wall, it almost looks like a ghost passing through a solid surface. It’s impossible to completely hide some of the cables, particularly the power cable, but it at least forces these wires to go in a straight vertical line rather than ending up in a tangled mess.

Although the Geist concept design is actually meant to be less conspicuous and reduce visual discomfort, they can actually also have the opposite effect, depending on the person. Some might not be keen on seeing any representation of the paranormal, so anything that might remind them of ghosts might be even more uncomfortable. That said, the designs are aesthetically pleasing on their own, if you leave out the ghost association, so they still present a more pleasing aesthetic compared to the typical designs of these devices.