Life in the 21st century delivers up essentials in our homes that streamline our lives and keep us connected in a way our forebears could never have even dreamed of.
One of those ‘can’t live without’ items is the Wi-Fi modem. Yet, even though designers endeavour to make them look sleek and stylish they’re, well, it has to be said, a bit of an eyesore. So we hide them away or attempt to disguise them, which can have a negative impact of their efficiency.
“Generally modems are mass produced and are pretty stock-standard; beige and ugly, with one purpose in mind. Not a whole lot of design-thought has gone into them,” says Taryn Hamilton, general manager of Orcon.
It’s why he decided to introduce Orcon’s innovative Designer Series.
“We’d always wanted to do it, sexy things up a bit and these are cool, unique and different. Far more effective than ‘shouty’ ads,” he says. “We asked five artists who are a mix of different personalities to take part: Otis Frizzell, Flox, Anna Leyland, Askew One and Andrew J. Steel. When we approached them they were all so enthusiastic, it was great. I was a little bit anxious because I didn’t want to take a piece of amazing artwork and have it come out cheap and sticker-like, but they came out beautifully. They jostle for position in terms of popularity. My favourite is the black and white graphic work of Perception by Anna Leyland — it sits in pride of place on my coffee table.”
‘Stitchbird’ and ‘Kakariki’ by Flox delivers infusion of bright colours and native birds, Anna Leyland’s ‘Perception’ and Otis Frizzell’s ‘Cable Manaia’ channel authentically Aotearoa designs, while Askew and Andrew J. Steel’s artworks give a solid nod to their street art roots. Some of the original artworks were auctioned on Trade Me, collecting over $5,000 for wildlife charity, Forest & Bird. “I did bid but I wasn’t a winner,” says Taryn.
More than just a pretty face, the modems also offer a practical solution to a 21st century décor dilemma. You see, many people experience internet connectivity issues due to modems being hidden in a cupboard or tucked under a couch out of sight when actually, they should be in a prominent spot to get the best internet coverage, somewhere that provides the strongest signal for devices like smart TVs that need the most bandwidth.
Orcon’s modems make you want to display them. It’s a double win, serving up great internet coverage and a gorgeous piece of art. Which is your favourite?
The Orcon Designer Series limited edition modems are available to all new Orcon customers – with only 500 modems printed in each design. See the modem designs at orcon.net.nz, or check out the creations being made here: youtube.com/OrconChannel
Orcon’s tips for modem placement:
Wi-Fi is essentially a radio signal – it can travel through walls, but it will weaken the further it travels. For best coverage throughout the home, pick a central location.
With smart TVs and video streaming services on the rise, it’s likely that your TV will become the largest consumer of internet in the house. Somewhere near the TV is a prime spot.
A key disruptor of smooth-sailing internet is interfering devices – avoid having the modem near the washing machine, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, older cordless phones and the microwave – any household equipment that contains a large magnetic coil should be avoided.
If you live in a built-up area or an apartment complex, interference from your neighbours’ networks is also trouble. Where possible, try to avoid installing the router next to shared walls.