|Electronics engineer Ruud de Vaal has designed a smart new solution to the ongoing household problem of multiple remote controls. The SPIN remote is an all-in-one device that can switch on the TV, control the volume on the hi-fi or turn down the lights with one simple gesture.
“I noticed that a lot of remote controls have 30 or 40 buttons but most of the time nobody uses them all, and sometimes they don’t even know what some of them are used for. So I challenged myself to try to reduce the number of buttons and I came down to zero which was quite unique. I then decided to develop the idea, which was to invent a simple remote control that uses gestures or movements instead of buttons to perform different functions. It’s also easier to remember because it uses muscle memory instead of trying to remember buttons which can be frustrating,” said Ruud.
As part of the development of his device, Rudd attended the 3D Printing and Prototyping workshop which was facilitated by David Van Staden of the CCDI Product Support programme. The three-day workshop allows participants to explore how to use 3D modelling, moulding and printing to generate new ideas and prototypes.
“At the course I designed the battery holder and created the prototype which later became part of the SPIN remote. As an electronics engineer I was already busy with the electronics aspect of the device but I didn’t really have the skills to develop the mechanical parts. This is why I am very grateful that CCDI offers these courses because it made it possible for me to actually create this mechanical part,” said Ruud.
The SPIN remote comes in a sleek, silver dome-shaped design that is packed with sensors so that it can detect motion, rotation, orientation and touch and allows the user to take control using a series of gestures and movements. Using an intuitive smartphone app, different functions can be programmed into the controller depending on how it is held, such as rotating it clockwise or upside down or at a particular angle. In this way the remote can seamlessly transform actions into commands, so one gesture can be for the TV and another gesture can be for the hi-fi.
The SPIN remote won the EISA Award for Best Product in the AV Accessory category because of its unique design and innovative and playful user experience. EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) is an independent association of nearly 50 special interest magazines from 22 European countries.
The remote is now on the market in Europe and can also be ordered online at https://www.spinremote.com/.
“It’s really wonderful to know that this product has its roots in Cape Town and that the CCDI played a big part in this,” concludes Ruud.