Lost remote control control is the least crisis. It really hardly bothers, it is usually solved by turning enough pillows on the couch. Which is why it may take so long for the types who interfere to find solutions. Those solutions, though, are great now.
Credit to Year first: It increased remote retrieval a few years ago, although only for high-end streaming models. But the past few months have seen a small revolution in remote control monitoring, with improvements and enhancements and previously unexplored options – including Roku himself.
The clearest users of the small transformation are the owners of Apple TV. The Siri remote, a slim small number that seems to be deliberately designed to slip into places that can’t be found, offers no cure for the disappearance other than using the Apple TV Remote app on the phone. (This works briefly, but remote controls with physical keys are a far better experience than tapping glass.) Even the updated version of the hardware, announced in April and on sale next month, has remained offline. This is perhaps particularly surprising given that Apple was not so long ago designed the so-called U1 chip whose main job is help in finding things.
Fortunately, Apple does use the U1 AirTags, the company recently announced a response to Tile and other tracking widgets. Derrick Ensley, who runs the 3D printing house PrintSpired Designs, saw the opportunity. Shortly after the AirTags announcement, Ensley set to work designing a slim Siri Remote case that has room to smuggle AirTags on board. He sells both the case itself i schemes for anyone who wants to print it, both for the previous and for the current generation of hardware.
“Because of the thinness of the remote control and its smooth materials, it’s very easy to slide between the cushions on the couch,” Ensley tells Apple’s remote control. “Sure, there are a lot of people who can’t figure out how people lose a remote control, but as a two-year-old father it’s pretty easy to lose.”
Ensley says that after an initial rush of orders after reporting from some technology news websites, it still sells dozens of cases each week. And while his business has benefited from Apple’s design decisions, it makes it puzzling that the company hasn’t offered any salvation for owners of missing remote controls, even without the installation of a U1 chip.
“It would be trivial for Apple to at least incorporate a small speaker into its second-generation Siri remote control to help people find it,” he says. “The U1’s capabilities of the AirTag are probably exaggerated for the remote control, but I’ve found that asking Siri to play sound on the AirTag of my remote control is more than enough to find it quickly.”
Without these measures, however, the solution to the AirTag case is heating up. This week, the accessory company Elago announced it Apple TV Siri Remote R5 case, a thick silicone shell that includes an AirTag slot. Elago has dealt with the naughty problem with the remote control before, the R1 housing full of magnets that allowed you to securely attach it to any metal surface. “With the introduction of Apple’s new AirTags, we saw a natural idea for a new remote case,” says Elaga CEO Michael Limm. “We knew that the demand for this type of functional case was important to our customers in terms of how well our R1 case sold.”
Ensley says he has received requests to branch out to other remote controls, especially on the Roko, given its ubiquity. But for some Roque owners, the case is controversial; the remote control is already doing the work for you.
The Grand Dame’s streaming rules for hiding have always been limited to a handful of top models, but they provide a nice break for those who dive. The Roku Ultra and Roku 4 streaming boxes have long had buttons that, when pressed, cause the connected remote controls to emit sound for one minute or until you find it, whichever comes first. You can even choose from the different sounds you will create if you bury it in the Settings deadline.