Behind the Scenes: The Caavo Design Process
For more than two years, the Caavo team has worked hard designing a system that simplifies and unifies home entertainment. Recently, our co-founder Andrew had the opportunity to sit down with the video team at Fortune Tech to discuss how we approached the product development process.
Take a look:
Our quest to design a system that reflects the joy, passion and fun of watching TV actually began in perhaps the least joyful place in the living room: the hidden tangle of inputs and cables connecting our TVs, streaming devices, and game consoles.
We set out to clean and organize that horrifying mess of cables. In collaboration with NewDealDesign’s industrial design team, we started by developing a unique eight-cable system of attachments based on pegs and functional intersections.
We brought in warm, beautiful woods to cover it all, and designed custom-woven cables and connectors to replace stiff, over-molded cords.
This cable management solution became part of a full system of switch, remote, connectors and accessories, all anchored together with design and materials that are both playful and poised.
Taking Back Control
As our team considered designing the Caavo remote, we worked toward a vision of simplicity that would at once take the work out of watching while maximizing control. The leanback design reflects the thinking that went into the system itself.
We started with one simple rule: no new screens. The best screen to watch is the big screen, so the remote’s buttons were mapped to a corresponding overlay that displays functions on the TV screen. Reducing the number of buttons simplified and left space to focus on the ones used most: power and volume control. A signature metal Caavo button serves as a gateway to step in and out of the Caavo world.
In designing the remote’s streamlined form and selecting materials—a combination of wood and real metal—we referenced objects that are warm and nice to hold, like a guitar neck and a baseball bat. A bespoke manufacturing process adds strength and durability, transforming the wood on the remote from a decorative accent into a structural element that safely encapsulates the electronics within.
And let’s not forget that charming little foot. It not only adds a touch of attitude, but also makes the remote easier to pick up off the coffee table, and prevents it from slipping into the dreaded couch cushion black hole.
The Material World
When selecting materials for the system, we wanted to make something warm and approachable that would bring a little joy back to TV. Wood felt like a natural choice. It lives at ease in the living room and stands out among the crowd. It can be sustainably made using renewable resources like bamboo. And it brings a fun nod to the early days of television, when screens and stereos were built into wooden cabinets
The warm woods—from bamboo to mahogany to exotic zebrawood—contrast with high-gloss piano black. Spun metal pegs add sophistication and also evoke vintage tubes and amps. Together, these high-end details and natural finishing make Caavo more akin to furniture than a typical AV box, bringing distinction while blending into any living room.
— Caavo Team