According to research done by U.K. cybersecurity hardware and software company Zobi, 30% of all smart home devices are hacked, with 1.8 billion passwords readily available over the dark web. It’s all sobering statistics noting a great deal of our lives are now spent and shared online. With online privacy becoming a growing issue with the proliferation of vulnerable smart home devices, it makes sense an entire new category of devices have emerged to protect and notify when private information falls under threat. London-based design studio Blond’s smart home device Hedgehog is designed to autonomously defend against cyber-attacks on your WiFi while looking as cute as its namesake.
Paired with Zobi Home Intelligence, an artificial intelligence enhanced cloud-based analysis, the Hedgehog takes direct inspiration from the diminutive woodland creature known to protect itself from larger threats with its prickly quills. In lieu of giving their home network security spikes, Blond has designed the small device with a deeply ridged surface in subtle references to the creature’s spikes, both as an aesthetic feature, but also functionally to provide the device with ventilation and conceal a hidden aperture for the device’s lighting.
When an online attack is registered, the Hedgehog’s LED light ring flashes red, a function that can also be adjusted in the accompanying product app.
Blond says they made it a primary goal to design a product that would be openly welcomed to sit in view within the home, finding inspiration in homeware design trends to help create a form as decorative as technologically protective.
Each Hedgehog is manufactured from recycled plastic and available in either white, green, brown and blue. Blond says the pastel color palette is intended to reflect “the natural environment of a hedgehog, while also fitting into the aesthetics of any home environment”, but is also very reminiscent of Microsoft’s recent efforts to humanize their catalog of home smart devices with similar nature-inspired hues led by Ivy Ross.
“The technology in our home shouldn’t have to be hidden away,” says James Melia, Founder of Blond, “At Blond, we are interested in designing technology like homeware. We designed the Hedgehog to be an object that you would be happy to have on your bookshelf or mantel that could easily sit alongside other objects in your home. Tech in our home is here to stay and we believe that everything that surrounds us should feel natural in our environment.”
Blond has also designed an accompanying wifi booster called the Hoglet (the name of a baby hedgehog), which implements the same design aesthetic as its larger counterpart, utilizing a plug-in design to extend connectivity unobtrusively.
The Hedgehog is currently available for pre-order with shipping estimated for early 2022.