Rethinking the Remote

A new kind of remote control scraps the buttons in favor of motion-sensitive navigation

Control Freak

The Loop lets you change channels and settings with a wave and a click.

Three hundred channels and a DVR full of recorded shows, and you´re still sifting through it all with a controller straight out of the ´80s. That´s why Hillcrest Labs designed the Loop, a remote with nary a number on it. Instead, a button brings up an onscreen guide, which you navigate with a scroll wheel. To select what you want to do-browse recordings, change settings-just wave the remote around to move an onscreen cursor through a series of intuitive, icon-driven menus. Accelerometers inside the controller detect where you´re pointing (a technology the company calls Freespace). Hillcrest expects to sign deals with set-top-box makers later this year, so you could get one with your next cable box. Now, if only they could make it easier to find in the seat cushions.


SIZE: 5 inches across

WEIGHT: 5 ounces

BATTERY LIFE: About three months

AVAILABLE: Late this year