Hiding tech in everyday objects

The latest device from Ikea’s novel partnership with the wifi-speaker maker Sonos is a bit different: a speaker hidden in a picture frame.

The Symfonisk picture frame costs £179 ($199) and joins Ikea’s other unusual speakers – one is in a shelf while another is a table lamp – which are all fully compatible with Sonos’s whole-home wireless audio system… More here.

This trend of integrating technology into everyday objects you find around the home makes a lot of sense to me.

Look around your living room. Do you really need speakers that look like speakers? A big TV that is effectively a screen and a plastic surround? Light switches? TV boxes? Cables everywhere etc etc.

I am not saying that we should aim for twee and do this for the sake of it, but when done right it can bring a sense of the organic to the tech that makes our lives easier, and part of making our lives easier is surrounding ourselves with objects that are more human than digital.

The balance is tricky for such objects, but I still hope that they become the norm.