It seems Yves Béhar is working his way through home appliances. Fresh from reinvigorating thermostats and fizzing up drinks with Sodastream, the designer is now taking over television screens with his latest project for Canal+.
Béhar's San Francisco studio Fuseproject has redesigned the set-top box for the French TV network, re-imagining its form while keeping true to a brand they've worked with for the past eight years. Named 'Le Cube S' and measuring in at an impressive 8cm x 8cm, the new compact contraption is less than a quarter of the size of its predecessor, Le Cube. 'This is the first set-top box to fit cleanly in the palm of your hand,' says Béhar.
'While the average set-top box will only display the channel number, we knew we had an opportunity to utilise the screen to create a more meaningful experience,' explains Fuseproject. 'The full-color LCD display [has a] 320 x 240 pixel screen, presenting channel logos [...] and programme notifications to users. At only 61mm x 46mm, the quality of this display is astonishing. But of course, it also is only present when needed – its surface hides discreetly behind the matte black colouring of the device itself, seamlessly disappearing when not in use.'
When turned on, the high-quality display shines through to the surface, providing full colour images. When turned off, the minimal box effortlessly fades into the background; a clean matt display with textured lid, contrasting perpendicular lines hiding the cube's limited buttons. An understated feat of design and technology.