The Best New Digital Devices Hide in Plain Sight

High-tech, low-profile.

From left: Norton Core Router, Tube Audio Speaker, and Beoplay A9.

Photographer: Hannah Whitaker for Bloomberg Businessweek

Norton Core Router

From the company that brought you Norton AntiVirus software comes this Buckminster Fuller-inspired router, which offers secure internet access in a package you won’t mind leaving out in the open. The company is taking preorders, with shipping expected this summer; the price includes a one-year subscription to Norton’s security service.

Tube Audio Speaker by Piet Hein Eek for Leff Amsterdam

From $189;
This petite speaker will be equally at home on your desk and your nightstand. Despite the heirloom look, it comes with all the modern conveniences, including Bluetooth connectivity and a rechargeable 12-hour battery.

Beoplay A9 by Bang & Olufsen

From $2,699;
High-end fabric covers in 11 colors ensure that this sculptural speaker will play well with any room. Wall-mounted or standing on its three wooden legs, it connects to your whole-home audio system via Google Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, Bluetooth, or the smart home platform DLNA.

Clockwise from left: Blue Pure 211 air purifier, Cujo Firewall, and Stammen Speaker.

Photographer: Hannah Whitaker for Bloomberg Businessweek


Blue Pure 211 by Blueair

Form follows function, indeed: This room purifier looks as clean as the air it filters. In spaces up to 538 square feet, it cleans the air fully at least five times per hour.

Cujo Firewall

Protects your at-home network and anything that connects to it, including smartphones and smart home devices that might be particularly vulnerable to hacking. Suspicious activity triggers an alert on Cujo’s app. The program requires a paid subscription; sign up for annual renewals and the initial cost drops to $158.

Stammen Speaker by Urbanears

This fabric-covered cube is a hybrid of retro and right now. Hook it up to your vintage turntable, or play songs from your smartphone via Bluetooth. Use the nostalgia-inducing knobs to adjust the volume or scroll through Spotify playlists—you can program in as many as seven.

From left: Dock by Native Union, Q Charging Dock, and Cone Speaker.

Photographer: Hannah Whitaker for Bloomberg Businessweek


Dock by Native Union

A smartwatch is great—until it dies because you forgot to charge it. This dock works with the Apple Watch: Thread the magnetic charging cable into the base, then slip your device onto the metallic knob, which comes in silver, yellow gold, and rose gold.

Q Charging Dock

Get your cell phone cord under control with this simple cube made of stainless steel, milled so you can thread an Apple Lightning-to-USB cable through the back and up to the top. It’s heavy enough to keep your iPhone stable but still small enough to carry with you pretty much everywhere.

Cone Speaker by Nendo for Marsotto Edizioni

Hi-fi sound this isn’t, but it comes from a pretty object. Rest your iPhone in the slot at the top of the marble block; cone-shaped hollows drilled into the sides amplify whatever noises come out of it. Since it doesn’t use electricity, you can safely leave it outdoors.

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