To celebrate the arrival of the slimline Shadow Ghost, we invite you behind the scenes of its conception. Built to replace the Shadow Box, just as Shadow apps were coming into their own, its role and design have been reimagined.
For Shadow, a new era is about to dawn on February 27th, with the release of the Shadow Ghost. Join us as we relive the story behind our next-generation box, designed to bring you the power of Shadow on any screen of your choice, including your TV. This also marks the end of a lengthy production process dating back to the autumn of 2017, when Shadow took its first steps into the mainstream. In the early days, Shadow was synonymous with its hardware: the Early Bird from 2016 and the Shadow Box from June 2017. This time around, the landscape had shifted. On Android, iOS, PC or Mac, Shadow now came in the form of an app, unshackled from the hardware constraints associated with a box. These limitations were no longer a factor, with Shadow running off the resources of the computer, tablet or smartphone on which the app was installed.
The launch of Shadow apps in 2017 forced us to rethink the box’s role within our ecosystem. It was still the only way to offer Shadow on monitors that didn’t have an internet connection, like most TVs, but it was a minority of cases anyway. Therefore, it was decided that the box would serve as an accessory to Shadow – an ideal complement if you will – rather than the core of the system. A new product had to be conceived to replace the Shadow Box and fill this newly envisaged role. It would be more aesthetic and streamlined, fitting neatly into your living space. It would also be more technically suitable, seeing as the capabilities of the original Shadow Box rather outstripped its needs. Lastly, it would provide greater flexibility, especially in light of the stark absence of wireless connectivity with the Shadow Box.
With our objectives in place, pre-production could get underway. In September 2017, we entered a first phase in partnership with the French design firm Silamir. The aim was not only to define the look of the new box, but also to determine its technical feasibility – it’s all well and good making pretty things, but it’s even better when they work! Silamir drew up a host of design options for the Ghost, some drawing inspiration directly from the Shadow Box, others leaning more towards traditional network devices. Ultimately, we went with a far less orthodox, more ‘aerospatial’ design. “We wanted to create a unique design, in Shadow’s image. The product has curved edges that evoke the cloud and data dematerialisation. The contrast between the upper and lower casing, both in terms of colour (black and white) and appearance (smooth versus polygonal), was introduced to mirror the dual universe that the Shadow Ghost inhabits: gaming and work”, explains Mathieu Le Gall, a designer at Silamir.