THERO as a concept tries to elevate the precious and sacred object of our digital privacy. The treatment given to the resulting object is artistic and precious in all moment, with a geometry and cleanliness reminiscent of an idol or talisman, which has a value above its material qualities. It has the value of freedom and the right to digital privacy. This piece opens a space for reflection, forcing the user to be aware of their data traffic in a (literally) physical way, in reference to the object.
THERO is presented as a heavy sculpture that encloses a device that blocks and / or encrypts our digital communications by direct manipulation of the subject with the object. Through a turn in its structure, THERO is able to manage our digital contact with the outside.
We believe that the presence of an object can give corporality something so abstract like the digital world, configurations and the consequences of its use. On the other hand, THERO gives us the power to have in our hands the key that closes the tap of this transit, and at the same time it makes that we have physical awareness in moments and uses of the network where privacy and anonymity are necessary. Finally, with a simple gesture of direct interaction of our hand with the piece, the users can decide when we are and when we are not visible.
Basically, this piece is an access point in which we can connect all our devices, either directly through a cable connection or as an extension of the network wirelessly. Any flow that passes through it can be handled manually by the user simply, as explained above, by a rotating action of our hand on the lid of the object.
We have four degrees of privacy, to being able to limit unwanted pages, to warn of unwanted devices that connect to the local network, to surf anonymously through the TOR network, etc … At the end of the development process, the idea is to implement a kind of API in which with simple Python scripts, you can configure the states according to your needs.
For now, we have thought by default in these four states:
0. Access Point with some security options (Check and alert new devices connected, etc)
1. Access Point with as Tor Relay (Encrypted traffic)
2. Access Point without social distractions (Block social websites)
3. Blackout. Only local navigation allowed, internal web server for project information and device settings.
Physical object with different external surfaces (3D Printing mixed with differents materials such as concrete, wood, etc). Internet connected device.
Design, hardware, software & production: Román Torre & Ángeles Angulo.
THERO is the Project winner of the research grant NEXT THINGS 2016 that convenes LABoral art and industrial creation center and Telefónica I+D.
Ramón Sangüesa / Equipo cafeina – DTLabs.
Carlos y Alex / FabLAB Asturias.