99 cent improvement to Siri remote

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by CarlJ, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. CarlJ macrumors 68000

    CarlJ

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    #1
    Just like everyone else, I've been having occasional trouble with picking up the remote with it pointed "the wrong way". After over-thinking a bunch of different solutions, I ended up with this. It does four things for me:
    1. Keeps the remote from sliding on smooth surfaces.
    2. Avoids the possibility of the aluminum underside of the remote scraping if it is placed on a metal surface (my remote keeps ending up on top of my MBP and I don't like the metal-on-metal noise).
    3. Raises the remote just a touch off the surface, making it easier to pick up.
    4. And, of course, makes it so that I can tell instantly upon picking up the remote, without looking, and before touching the top surface, whether I've got it oriented the right way round.
    I bought a 9" x 12" sheet of adhesive-backed foam (looks to be about 5/64" thick) at Michaels (a craft supply store, I don't know if it's regional or national, but I'm sure other places have something similar), for 99 cents, and cut a 1" square and a 1/2" by 1" rectangle, and placed them as shown in the picture. At first glance, the stuff looks like colored "construction paper", but it's thicker (it was near the stickers in the store, it's intended for kid's craft projects, and it comes in multiple colors)

    The asymmetric layout (front strip narrower, and further back from the end) lets my fingers know which way the remote is pointed - this works for me, but you could get more elaborate, cut out an arrow shape for the front end and a circle for the back, say. As a bonus, if my first finger is touching the end of the narrow strip, my thumb is right over the center of the touchpad.

    I placed the bits as shown in part to avoid covering up the the logo or printing, just in case the glue turned out to be tenacious, but I needn't have worried - it's perhaps two or three times the strength of a Post-it note. Enough to hold, but I believe I can easily peel it off later without damage if I want to try something else. (I'd originally considered the kind of foam feet one can put on furniture, but the package labeling warned that they are not intended to be removed and could damage surfaces - this stuff, on the other hand, is designed to be safe for kids to use.)

    Anyway, I was near a craft store, it cost a dollar, and I like the result. You might too.

    image.jpeg
     
  2. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #2
    It is a major failing not to have a dimple on one of the buttons.
     
  3. photosmike macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
  4. CarlJ thread starter macrumors 68000

    CarlJ

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    #4
    Well, the Siri button is dished out more than the other buttons.
     
  5. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    And quite obvious.

    The only thing I would have preferred is better touch detection so you don't accidentally activate it when handing it to someone else. I'll have to play with the touch sensitivity.
     
  6. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    "And quite obvious"? Is that supposed to be a sarcastic comment? I suspect that most don't even notice that shallow change on the surface of the buttons.

    What they should have done at an absolute minimum is to have made a raised, horizontal divider on the very oblong volume control button. Then, when that was felt on the right you'd know which end was up. Ideally, however, I think they should have made the remote less symmetrical in shape.

    Frankly, I must say that if Jony Ive had anything to do with the industrial design of the Siri remote then he must have been having a very bad week, or two, or three.
     
  7. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    All you have to do is look at it in normal lighting and see the curve on the button. It's not difficult at all to figure out which way is up by touch.
     
  8. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    #8
    So you're supposed to bring the lights up in the middle of a movie? That's the fix?

    I have a better solution. I can't talk to my ATV4, but my Harmony Remote does just fine.
     
  9. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #9
    No, you learn orientation right out of the box. People aren't buffoons.
     
  10. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    #10
    You sure about that last sentence? :D
     
  11. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #11
    When it comes to not whining about a remote and learning how to use it? Yes, outside of people on this forum.
     
  12. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    #12
    My 6 year old figured out this remote on day one.
     
  13. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #13
    Having one of the buttons, in this case the Siri button, concave where the rest of the buttons aren't is Apples alternative to a dimple.

    If you move your thumb over the buttons you should feel it gently dip into the recess. From there it's easy to tell the orientation and location of buttons. There's a single round button above and below the Siri button and to the right of it, one round and one elongated button.

    I'm used to it by now, although I'll happily admit that won't be the case for everyone.

    All that said, I like the thinking of the original post. If you need a bit more feedback for the orientation of the remote, that's certainly an efficient and cost effective way of doing it.

    An alternative for those who would like a dimple or two on certain buttons to help guide them. Is to get some epoxy resin and a cocktail stick. Dip the cocktail stick into the resin and place small dots of the epoxy onto the buttons you want. Allow it to harden and you have your permanent dimples without affecting the appearance of the remote too much as you can use a clear epoxy.
     
  14. benjitek macrumors 6502a

    benjitek

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #14
    If you inadvertently bring up the scrub slider with the touchpad, just press the Menu button -- nothing is changed and the scrubber goes away.

    More than 99 cents ($19.99), but am looking forward to the release of the Griffin Survivor case for the remote. I wish the remote were at least double the thickness, my Roku 3 remote was a good size. The Survivor will help...

    Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.51.22 AM.png
     
  15. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    #15
    Nice product. Colors would be nice as remotes go, eventually one of the kids brings one downstairs.
     
  16. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #16

    Yeah, unfortunately there are times when Apples insistence on making things as thin as they can gets in the way of actual real world ergonomics. The Siri remote is one of them. I love its functionality but it should have been less thin and slippery, particularly as they expect you to use it as a game controller as well.
     
  17. benjitek, Nov 23, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015

    benjitek macrumors 6502a

    benjitek

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #17
    I agree -- it's not like you need to slip it in your pocket or backpack. When I first got the ATV4 and was using the remote a lot, my wrist and lower hand became sore -- ergonomics definitely weren't a priority during the design phase.

    Regardless, I wouldn't part with my ATV4 -- whoever manufactures Advil can thank Apple for the mysterious uptick in sales ;)
     
  18. benjitek, Nov 23, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015

    benjitek macrumors 6502a

    benjitek

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #18
    I'd be happy with a black-to-gray gradient that transitions where the touchpad turns into smooth glass, that would lessen trying to use the remote upside-down. Then again, I don't have kids... or a downstairs ;)

    For now, I've trained myself to always set the remote down metal-side-up, then I can tell by the Apple logo.
     
  19. retroneo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #19
    While it's ok for minimal use, the remote is painful on the hands when using it in Apps. It's like a preview of what my hands will feel like when I'm ninety.
     
  20. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #20
    How much are you using it?
     
  21. benjitek macrumors 6502a

    benjitek

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #21
    Doesn't take much... o_O
     
  22. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #22
    You've got weak hands.
     
  23. benjitek macrumors 6502a

    benjitek

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #23
    Nah... the remote just isn't ergonomic. While saying 'it's ok for minimal use' might be overstating things a bit, the way it has to be gripped and held so that you can click the touchpad with your thumb will make things sore after an hour-ish. Not a debate -- just the way of things. Thanks though for stopping by ;-)
     
  24. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #24
    Nice case but it needs to be black to blend in with the remote.
     
  25. benjitek macrumors 6502a

    benjitek

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #25
    Matter of preference I guess -- looks good as-is to me.
     

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