Looking around the living room, I can’t help but notice that the TV remote is a bit awkward: they all have different appearances and pretty much never fit in with the room’s decor. Of course, there have been attempts to create interfaces that use speech or gestures in the air, but there is just something familiar about a physical interface. What other objects, already in the room, could be repurposed? I’m going with the drink coaster; maybe everyone doesn’t have them, but we’ll pretend they do.
It could be designed to have an outer ring/wheel around the central coaster. It could be activated by placing a drink on the top and simply operated using a jog wheel interface (similar to the old iPod), which ultimately makes it a large potentiometer. The cool part is that people often have a set of coasters, so each coaster could replace one of the remotes or each person in the room would have their own device.