This pebble-shaped TV remote control is like a restless toy for couch potatoes

The TV remote control is both an essential part of home entertainment and its undoing. In the past, the large sheet of plastic had more buttons than a scientific calculator, yet it still often managed to get lost inexplicably under the interior and sofas. Thanks to streaming devices and dongles, as well as the influence of a certain company called Fruit, some remotes have now been reduced to their bare minimum. That said, they remain in the typical rectangular shape which leaves a lot of unused space just to conform to that traditional design. There is certainly plenty of room for improvement and experimentation, and this concept shrinks the remote down even further, turning it into something that can be easily swapped and used as a toy.

Designer: Hyeonil Jeong

As TVs got more complicated, the number of buttons on their remotes exploded like rabbits. While that meant that some features are just a push of a button, it requires more training and muscle memory to become truly affordable. There isn’t even a standard layout for those buttons, so you often get confused and lost every time you switch to another remote. That’s why remotes for home entertainment systems have earned such a negative reputation over the years and LIL ROC’s concept design turns it upside down almost into a game.

This twist in remote control design is almost indistinguishable from a large pebble you would see in Zen gardens or river beds. Its small shape and smooth curves make it less daunting and more accessible than even the simplest Apple TV remote. More than just its looks, however, LIL ROC’s features encourage a more tactile approach and reinvent the entire remote control experience into something akin to a game.


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Each side of the LIL ROC, for example, is mapped to a specific control, with the volume controls on opposite sides while the channel controls take the remaining edges. Instead of pressing the buttons, however, you simply press down on the assigned edge, which causes the device to wobble slightly as it returns to the idle state. There’s a button in the center that maps power and accepts actions, while a twisting motion lets you navigate through a TV’s menus.



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It’s not hard to imagine how this remote control design can easily become a gripping toy in someone’s hand while watching a show, although it’s unclear if it can tell the difference between intentional and accidental gestures. At the same time, however, its small size could facilitate the loss of the remote control, which is one of the biggest problems affecting this type of device. Regardless, it’s a pretty fun retelling of what’s commonly considered a daunting and unwieldy tool, proving that there are plenty of opportunities left to design the ultimate remote.






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