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What’s Hot: Cleverly Disguised Technology

Deceptively chic, these functional designs conceal their purpose while elevating their style.

Deceptively chic, these functional designs conceal their purpose while elevating their style.

Roche Bobois’s Calisto sofa (from $8,070) conceals an electronic control panel in each of its armrests. The leather couch was created by the Italian architects Roberto Tapinassi and Maurizio Manzoni in collaboration with the French furniture retailer and provides a hidden USB charging port for cell phones and cameras along with electronic controls for the backrests and seats. The Calisto sofa first debuted in Europe last year and became available in the United States this past January. (www.roche-bobois.com)

Minotti’s Harvey line of cabinets includes 31 different designs, from sideboards to nightstands. Three years after the line’s 2010 launch, the Italian design studio partnered with Harvey’s creator, Rodolfo Dordoni, to revamp the collection to conceal all wiring for the devices stored on the shelves, providing a seamless exterior from all angles. Units (priced from $12,000 to $15,000) feature nickel accents and lacquered wood front doors and drawers available in seven neutral shades, including gray, white, and sand. The collection’s simplistic aesthetic aims to be evocative of the Scandinavian furniture that rose to popularity in the 1960s, but with a modern edge. (www.minotti-la.com)

The subtly stylish light switches ($5 to $57), outlets ($4 to $48), and wall plates ($5 to $123) from Legrand’s Adorne collection come in 32 sleek finishes, which include Summer Brights, a new collection of vibrantly colored wall plates. Other finishes include cast metals, woods, and leather. Each light-switch design provides a modern mode of activation, from the translucent touchscreen of the Touch Switch to the motion-activated lighting of the Wave Switch, activated by the wave of a hand. (www.legrand.us)

Weighing just over a pound and measuring 5.3 inches in diameter, the size of the new external hard drive LaCie Sphère ($490) belies its abilities. The result of a collaboration between the long-established French silver company Christofle and the global technology firm LaCie, the Sphère offers 1 terabyte of storage and utilizes Christofle’s new Silverever technology, which significantly slows the oxidation process of silver and silver plate, reducing the need for polishing. (us.christofle.com)

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