Only the other day I was complaining that so many universal remote controls have too many buttons, and now I’m faced with this: the Monster AVL-300. Rarely is a product so accurately named; this hefty piece of home cinema kit really is monstrous. $600 gets you no less than fifty buttons, a programmable, multi-page LCD screen, docking/charging station, IR and RF multi-room control and one would imagine a bloody great big instruction manual so you can learn how to use it.
I really do find it confusing that, in a world where every other gadget seems to be playing down the technical skill necessary for operation, universal remote companies continue to pump out these behemoth travesties of interface-design. People often like to quote the ‘WAF’ or Wife Acceptance Factor in their buying decisions – will your spouse put up with it? – but I think we really need to start looking at the Non-Geek Acceptance Factor (or the ‘N-GAF’, if you will): how will the average individual cope with something that, at the end of the day, is designed to make your interaction with technology easier?