Encasing smartphones, and sometimes even tablets and laptops, aren’t exactly new to our ears. They have, in fact, given rise to very artistic expressions as well as innovative extensions. But putting a shell around your router? Now that’s something you don’t hear every day. But if you are one of the few to get Google’s and TP-LINK’s new cylindrical OnHub router, then that might soon become a way of life. Google has just announced its similarly new concept to put a case around the router to make it more a part of your home than just some black box in the corner.
Routers are probably the last things you’d want to flaunt in your house, unless you’re the type that loves to flaunt the latest in tech wizardry. But not all routers are designed with aesthetics in mind and a lot of them end up hidden behind other objects or under tables.
In contrast, the OnHub was specifically designed to be gawked at, with its unusual cylindrical shapes, almost completely wireless connections, and use of subtle lighting. It’s something you would want to display and be proud of. But sometimes it might still class with the rest of your room’s design. That’s why Google is kicking off a movement that will hopefully give rise to a myriad of OnHub shells similar to those for smartphones.
For starters, Google is selling its own Shells for OnHub in the Google Store, with prices ranging from $29 to $39 a pop, including one with a (presumably faux) wood finish. But three won’t be enough, so Google has also invited some creative minds and skilled hands to come up with designs. And if none of those catch your fancy, Google is also providing 3D and 2D files to let you make your own should you wish.
Interestingly, Google does have a technical justification for wanting to put your OnHub out of the closet or dark places. Routers work best when unrestristricted by solid objects around it, which basically means placing it on a desk or tablet for everyone to see. Good thing, then, that you’ll be able to dress up your OnHub too.