This is No “Universal” Remote

Often in a society of excess, (or depression, as it were,) the tendency is to provide as much precise detail in look and control as possible. Brian Garret Schuur has created a television remote that’s just the opposite. Schuur has reduced the channel, volume, pause, play, record, and power into one control button with his frankly titled “Single Button Remote.”

Brian Garret Schuur, designer of this Single Button Remote, speaks the following: “During the first semester of the Master Design track I designed and build a new kind of remote for digital television. The design is a protest against the remotes that are currently produced and on the market. A simple to use single button remote control, which allows the user to change channel, volume, pause, play, record and switch the television on and off.”

Is there a good reason to protest? Is there a better solution for this perceived problem? I can think of at least one alternative, [a certain white colored remote,] that does the job with two buttons: is that just terrible?

Designer: Brian Garret Schuur


  • Groucho says:

    How do you select each function? It looks like you slide the button to select a function but how do you alter that function e.g. increase the volume or decrease the volume? With out numbers how do you quickly select a channel when you have hundreds of channels to choose from? Is the record function next to the pause function? One slip and you’ve just recorded over the next part of the program you just recorded. If it falls behind a cushion will it change the function if the slider gets knocked? … I could go on.

    Semiotically this needs improving. I agree that modern remote controls have too many buttons; however I think you really need to see what buttons a user will use regularly and remove the excess, instead of trying to reduce functionality to one button.

  • flx says:

    All that plus its hella fugly…

  • Keith says:

    Somebody needs to go back to design school.

  • powers says:

    This is one of the problems I have with “Master’s” degrees in ID. Look at those friggin sketches! What?

  • monkey face says:

    too bad master students don’t have form and color theory… o wait, they should have done that in undergrad before they did a 2 year thesis on something that a first year student would have done in 3 months.

  • Jekyll22 says:

    I don’t see a simplicity factor in this new model… you have to remember how to press the button for each function and teach others how to use it, considering that, unlike the remote that comes with your tv / cable / dvd, the bottons are not labeled.

  • cjguest says:

    I really like the design potential! It totally something I can see Bang & Olufsen or Bose taking advantage of. But is it too simple and clever for B&O/Bose customers to get the hang of?

  • Mayor McRib says:

    I honestly think that 60% of the population would be satisfied with this set-up. Just let me know how it handles being thrown against a wall/table/tv/person and I will gift it to about 15 people.

  • Sylus says:

    Right out of 70’s.

  • basak says:

    some more effort on form and how it works, please i am begging..

  • cphoenix says:

    Sounds like a lot of supercilious designer talk surrounding a poor design, model, and thought process. Brian, you’re making us all look bad, your renderings on the comp are better than your models, stick to them.

  • This looks like a really cool idea, I can see how it works but it still looks like it needs at least a revision or two

  • Ekove says:

    Umm, Where does he explain how this works?

    Second, simpler design doesn’t mean simpler functionality. A remote with 1 button is probably much more complicated to use.

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