Anonymous Browsing Device
With growing concerns over privacy, censorship and content control, the use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) has become an increasing global trend for accessing the internet. Black is a hardware design solution aimed at protecting user data and reflects the desire for anonymity and transparency on the web.
Less is Obscure
VPNs have traditionally been online services offered by companies that can store personal data, or expensive hardware solutions not available to the average consumer. Black aims to be an accessible consumer solution for those who want to engage freely online without the worry of ad targeting, unwanted data collection and foreign manipulation.
Inspired by classic and contemporary personal electronics, Black combines a guarded exterior silhouette with an exposed internal structure to express its purpose as an opaque portal that provides protection for users and their personal data. During concept development, traditional contextual design cues for the function of the device were omitted by iterating on reserved forms with minimal interaction points.
Highlighting the Technology
Melding a translucent housing with a reserved enclosure, Black reflects users’ desires to protect their personal information while participating online in a transparent manner. The exposed internal circuit board provides visual context to data encryption as it occurs within the device through a winding array of circuits and internal components.
Functional features, such as air vents, are located above and beneath the PCB to allow cold air to passively cool components during extended use. Silent in function and understated in form, Black embodies what it grants users: obscurity.
The transparent housing and exposed PCB act as both strong focal features and practical design elements. The acrylic window diffuses light from internal LEDs, allowing the state of the device to be viewed from all angles by the user. This allows Black to relay necessary information in crowded workstations when it is hidden amongst other competing objects in its vicinity.
Black’s branding is minimal at most; a small monogram that is hardly discernible from afar, unifying the brand identity and function of the device through a consistent visual language.
“Any customer can have [ . . . ] any colour that he wants, so long as it is black.” - Henry Ford
The Black brand extends beyond the physical device and its function. Packaging reflects the product and its security, while communicating its purpose and future product experience to consumers. As a result, colour options for the device are limited to black to stay consistent with the brand image.
Privacy made Personal
From ad targeting to identity theft, internet users face an ever-growing threat of losing their digital privacy, or having that right violated. Black is the desktop hardware solution for data encryption that empowers individuals to protect their personal user data.
A simple form solving a complex problem, Black is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but big enough to protect you and your devices, no matter where you connect.