Home security with personality

We set about designing an innovative home technology protection device called Cujo (a nod to Stephen King’s infamous canine). When it comes to home security, there’s no more visceral an icon than the loyal family dog. Protective, trustworthy and lovable, he is a constant but benign presence—until something threatens his pack.

Our challenge was to bring existing technology to life with a visual brand language and an instinctive, glanceable user interface, and to design a mobile application. The hardware and mobile app would combine to form a system that would monitor home technology and alert users to any potential security breach.

Instead of designing something destined to be hidden away in a cupboard or drawer, we wanted Cujo to be a product that people would want to put on display in their homes. Something that blends in when it needs to but that is capable of grabbing your attention when activated. To do that, we needed to create a design with an emotive character people would engage with. The expressive and visually iconic approach to the product design was a critical component to the successful launch of the company.

Cujo’s unassuming shape blends in with other household items while the on-product interface resembles a dog’s eyes: usually sleeping, but open and alert as soon as it detects any unusual activity. The dog emoji interface is not only cute, it’s easy to understand and makes a daunting subject like Internet security feel much less intimidating for the consumer.

Cujo launched in 2016 on crowdfunding site Indiegogo and surpassed their funding target by almost 800%. Since then, Cujo has been lauded in publications like Wired, TechCrunch and Immortal News, and was a Finalist for Fast Company’s 2016 Innovation By Design Award.