Google & BERG Create Stand-Alone Video Chat Box [Video]

Google & BERG Create Stand-Alone Video Chat Box [Video]

The 'Connbox' is a prototype device that connects live chat in a more physical way.

Emma Hutchings
  • 28 february 2013

A multidisciplinary team at BERG developed a brief from the Google Creative Lab to make a physical product that incorporates Google voice/video chat services. They used research, strategic thinking, hardware and software prototyping to create a device called the ‘Connbox‘.

They note that video calling is very rarely about a quick question, a spontaneous connection, or an always-on presence between two spaces. BERG wanted to challenge the prevalent forms of video communication and connect people in a more physical way.

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The little box comes with two video screens, which allows users to see a feed of themselves and their partner. It fires up a video connection with its counterpart device over wi-fi, with no need for any other interface than switching it on at the plug.

The Connbox has controls on either side and flashes of Google’s signature color scheme. Users have the option of blurring their video feed or ‘muting’ someone else by drawing a curtain over their feed.

The prototype has a detachable camera that allows it to be re-positioned and pointed at other views or objects. There is a dial for selecting video effects or filters and a physical sliding tab on top that creates the connection between two spaces. Check out BERG’s blog post and the video below for more information:


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