ユニバーサルリモコン A universal remote controller

おしごと Owner's Works

This is a story about air conditioning.

I was explaining the room facilities to a guest from Norway.

I: “That’s a remote control for the air conditioner.”

Guest:  “Ah…”

I: “Don’t worry, it’s not Japanese!”

Guest: “Good! I always have trouble using the air conditioner in Japanese hotels.”

Sometimes in the winter, an international guest calls me up and says, “I can’t get the air conditioner warm no matter how I try,” and I look at the control and see that it is set to “cooling”.

Not only air conditioners but also other electrical appliances in Japan have a lot of buttons that are labeled only in Japanese. Naturally, foreigners cannot understand them, so I made stickers with English translations and put them on the remote like this. The next problem, however, is that the LCD screen also displays Japanese, which is challenging to understand. So, I translated it into English and put it on the wall like this.

じゃあ、それを見たらわかるじゃないかと思うでしょう? 確かに見ればわかります。しかしもしこれが、逆の立場だったらどうか。
Then you would think foreign guests could use the equipment correctly if they see the translations, right? But if you are a foreign tourist, would you want to read those translations to use equipment?

Suppose a Japanese travels to Korea. You find that all the buttons on the remote of the air conditioner in the hotel are labeled in Korean. However, the remote kindly has an English translation sticker on it. You press the button, and the screen shows Korean again. However, looking at the wall, you see an English translation. Well, you would understand how to use it correctly.

Do you really want to operate the remote labeled in English and Korean, comparing the English notation with the Korean on the screen? Because you don’t want and give up to read them, finally, you can’t use it properly.

We bought a universal remote control. It is compatible with air conditioners from probably almost all manufacturers. It is made in China and is cheap, but it works fine. Of course, there is no Japanese on the buttons or screen, just English, numbers, and illustrations. This should be understandable for anyone.

However, since the genuine Japanese remote is still easier for the Japanese guests to use, we replace it with the universal remote only when an overseas guest is scheduled to check-in.

By the way, this universal remote cannot be attached to the wall. I bought this wooden box from DAISO.

I modified it into a control case and mounted it on the wall. Both the genuine remote control and universal remote control can fit in the case.