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Photos: Jellyfish inspire the routers of the future

En route to a better-looking device
By Tim Ferguson, Contributor on
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1 of 4 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

En route to a better-looking device

The humble router is getting a serious makeover, thanks to the Routers of the Future project.

The project - a collaboration between the University of London's design department, Goldsmiths, and ISP TalkTalk - aims to come up with different ways of incorporating the humble router into the home or office, making it more a design feature and less an unloved bit of kit tucked away behind a desk.

TalkTalk asked Goldsmiths students to consider four factors in designing the devices: signal strength, home style, energy efficiency and enjoyment.

One of the designs, the Jellyfish, is pictured here. The Jellyfish showcases the inner workings of the router, with each user connecting via the device's tentacles.

According to its designers, the device was inspired by the fluorescent properties of jellyfish and their smooth movements through water. As a result, the router has a glowing breathing sequence that indicates bandwidth strength.

Photo credit: TalkTalk

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2 of 4 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

The Energy Saving Router doubles as a set of key hooks. When there are no keys on the hooks - indicating no one is at home - the device switches itself off to save energy.

It also includes a timer which means it will remain switched on until it's completed any large downloads, before powering down.

Photo credit: TalkTalk

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3 of 4 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

The Route O'Clock concept uses 24 half-hour segments and a range of colours to indicate bandwidth during that particular part of the day.

This means users can take advantage of periods of high availability for high bandwidth tasks such as watching IPTV, downloading large files and playing resource-intensive online games.

Photo credit: TalkTalk

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4 of 4 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

The final concept is the Hybrid Router, which incorporates the router into a 1960s-style side table (right).

The idea of it is to stop the router being an eyesore in the home and instead make it an attractive part of the living area.

Photo credit: TalkTalk

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