According to a study by UK cybersecurity hardware and software company Zobi, 30% of all smart home devices are hacked, with 1.8 billion passwords available on the dark web. It’s all sobering statistics that show that much of our lives are now spent and shared online. As online privacy becomes a growing concern with the proliferation of vulnerable smart home devices, it makes sense that a whole new category of devices has emerged to protect and notify when private information is threatened. London design studio Blondes Smart home device Hedgehog was developed to defend itself autonomously against cyber attacks on your WiFi and looks as cute as its namesake.
Paired with Zobi Home Intelligence, a cloud-based analysis enhanced by artificial intelligence, the hedgehog is directly inspired by the tiny forest creature, which is known for protecting itself from larger threats with its prickly spines. Instead of giving their home network security tips, Blond designed the little device with a deeply grooved surface in subtle allusions to the creature’s spikes, both aesthetically and functionally, to ventilate the device and hide a hidden opening Illumination of the device.
If an online attack is registered, the hedgehog’s LED light ring flashes red, a function that can also be set in the associated product app.
Blond says her main goal was to design a product that is openly welcome to be visible in the home, and to take inspiration from homeware design trends to create a form as decorative as it is technologically protective.
Each hedgehog is made from recycled plastic and is available in either white, green, brown, and blue. According to Blond, the pastel color palette is intended to “reflect the natural surroundings of a hedgehog while blending in with the aesthetics of any living environment,” but is also very reminiscent of Microsoft’s recent efforts to humanize its catalog of smart home devices with similar nature-inspired hues under led by Ivy Ross.
“The technology in our home shouldn’t have to be hidden,” says James Melia, founder of Blond. “At Blond we are interested in developing technologies like housewares. We designed the hedgehog as an object that you would like to have on your bookcase or mantelpiece and that can easily be placed next to other objects in your home. The technology in our home will stay and we believe that everything around us should feel natural in our surroundings. “
Blond has also developed an accompanying WiFi booster called Hoglet (the name of a baby hedgehog) that implements the same design aesthetic as its larger counterpart and uses a plug-in design to unobtrusively expand connectivity.
The hedgehog can currently be pre-ordered, and shipping is expected to take place in early 2022.