Co.Design

Peel Kills Remotes and Your Cable Company's Crappy UI

Designed by Yves Behar and Fuseproject, a UI invention that solves a problem we all live with: wretched cable interfaces.

There's plenty of reason to hate cable companies, not least of which is the hideous, wonky, slow UIs they foist upon us through our cable boxes. Think about: slow scrolling, undifferentiated lists of information that you have to scroll through for 10 minutes, constantly hitting a button on a crappy, confusing remote control, just to find a Law & Order rerun. Did we mention we don't like them?

Finally, Peel has come along with nifty gadget, designed by Yves Behar's Fuseproject, that lets you sidestep all that mess. All of the interaction happens using an app on your smartphone instead of your remote; the little fruit-shaped doodad above is a Wi-Fi/IR station that acts as a go-between for your TV and smartphone. When you sit down to watch TV, you simply tap your location into the app. It then goes and looks up all the shows that are on, and lists them in a clean interface. (The Peel device comes in three different shapes: An apple, an orange, and a pear.)

But what's particularly alluring is that the interface is molded by your own preferences: You can say what you like, you can search by genre, and over time, the app's AI starts to recognize your viewing patterns and makes suitable suggestions. In addition to controlling your TV, audio, and DVR, Peel also has a social function, so that you can share what you're watching with friends.

Peel

A bit like the Jawbone before it, Peel represents both a design and an investment for Fuseproject -- they've take an equity stake in the company. Which is a good thing: It's all too easy for designers to just take paychecks. When they invest, you know they think they're onto something good.

Peel-Fuseproject

Peel

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6 Comments

  • Fernsprecher

    not all operators have crappy UIs. Swisscom TV (SWitzerland) for example is pretty good- especially their iPad interface rocks...

  • Guest

    Why isn't there an option to share this on Facebook?  o.O  I can like it, I can tweet it... but I can't share it on Facebook?  What the heck, guys!

  • Tobey

    The cable companies hate us. We hate the cable companies.

    The marketing for this device is missing the point. We need a device to help unmarry cable TV from home entertainment. We need a universal remote app that handles a receiver, blu-ray, AppleTV, Roku, media PC, and TV from one control surface. This device might very well handle all of these devices but you wouldn't know it from the video above. They're marketing this thing as fancy channel suggester.

  • Joel Blair

    Yes when the designers income is married to the product's success it's a great boost for the company and the product alike.