16th April 2018

The Making of Hive View, with Yves Behar and Tom Guy

Today we’re featuring designer of the Hive Active Thermostat and Hive View Camera, Yves Behar, as well as Centrica Connected Home’s very own product director, Tom Guy.


Yves and Tom recently sat down with Architectural Digest magazine to talk about the making of our new Hive View Camera. Touching on everything from the beginning stages of Hive View, to what the future of the smart home industry holds, you can find highlights from the interview below. The full article can be viewed here


AD PRO: Yves, where did you begin with the design for Hive View?


Yves Béhar: The design needed to be visually striking, because in my mind there are very few technology products with designs that fit into the home. The design language for Hive took shape when we designed their very successful thermostat, and that focus on clean lines and visual discretion in the home was carried through to Hive View—subtle curvature, tactile, but this time with an expressive stand that sculpturally holds the camera.


AD PRO: Tom, why was it important for your company to highlight the design of the product?


Tom Guy: Customer feedback is central to our design process, and it showed a clear desire for an indoor camera that delivered peace of mind while fitting naturally and seamlessly into the home. Great design means delivering tangible benefits as well as a beautiful product. The “Grab and Go” feature, in particular, means the lightweight camera disconnects from its stand and can be placed into other areas of the home, with up to an hour of battery life. Yves really brought that form and function to life for us.


AD PRO: Smart home products are becoming more prevalent every day; how has the way we see their design shifted?


YB: We’ve come far since the early days of smart home products. The first IoT [Internet of Things] devices on the market were more of a tech novelty. What has shifted is how the user experience of these products has to be designed today for daily use, while being discreet and noninterruptive of our home life. This is the philosophy between all of our smart home products, including the Frame TV for Samsung—they need to be camouflaged in plain sight. Hive is a great example of this; we designed the camera to be easy and intuitive to use, all the while being a beautiful object with every element refined to the details: from the sculptural aluminum base, the minimal camera cube, to the elegant colors.


AD PRO: What are the unique challenges in designing a product you hope to be universal or, at the very least, appeal to a broad customer base?

YB: As a designer, I am always considering that universal appeal doesn’t mean a standard or pedantic aesthetic. That core idea permeates every aspect of the design process, from the core user experience to the materials we use, to how it is made, to its aesthetic features. It is only when the final experience is right that it has a chance at a broad or mainstream success.


Behind the Scenes: Check out the development from early sketches to finished product of the Hive View Camera in the video below:


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