This project has been selected by Orange - French leader in telecommunication - for the contest "Orange vous donne le signal" - young designer
"On'Off" is a physical switch for the wireless network. It has been designed as a bell which traps the box and so the distribution of wifi for a while. It’s important to recreate an interaction between the user and the physical object (thus the box) in order to make the wifi more concrete, more real via a daily ritual when going to sleep. Then, the user becomes an actor of the wireless network.
The gesture mimics the one of candle damper and thus appeals to the collective memory to facilitate understanding. In terms of communication, the shape of On’Off is like the « ON / OFF » symbol we all know, in order to, once again, appeal to the subconscious and facilitate understanding.
In terms of materials, the concept is treated like a piece of furniture more than an electrical appliance to make it more friendly and less technical. If needed, the user can choose to add light on the box - a symbolic way to represent the wifi until now impalpable, imperceptible. Thus, the wifi takes place on a cupboard or a shelf as a piece of art, an ornament or a table lamp for instance.
The concept came after a simple insight based on user’s behaviors : in a world getting more and more hygienist, the wifi always around us creates more and more suspicions even if it’s indispensable. Between paranoia and overexposure, we should strike a balance.
The user likes to control objects and technologies. That’s why when we go to sleep, we make a succession of rituals : we blow the candle, switch off the lights, switch off the TV, put our smartphone in « airplane mode » (btw easier access than before because of the insight explain previously) … but the waves keep going broadcasting. Wifi is not visible or palpable as a light or odor could be. And what if we decided to pause the wifi during night times ? To do it, the reflexion obviously turned around the physical element between the user and the network : the box.
Technically, there is a sensor in the box which shuts off the wifi when the bell gets closer.
For more web covering in the user’s house, we can use extra wifi modules to extend the wifi experience to one room (bedroom, office, …) when the main box is covered by the bell. These extra modules would work the same way as the main one, in a smaller scale.