Gadget Lab Podcast: One Wheel, Zero Buttons

There’s an old joke about Steve Jobs, that he never wore a suit because he hated buttons. There’s some truth to that old trope about designers always trying to refine their creations to their absolute core. Minimize the clutter, clear the mind, purify the experience. That’s what consumer electronics manufacturers are still doing, and we explore this trend by pointing at two recent developments in our world: new smartphone designs totally devoid of buttons, and the rising numbers of one-wheeled vehicles on the streets and bike lanes designed for two- and four-wheelers.

This week on Gadget Lab, we first talk with show producer Boone Ashworth about why people are obsessed with single-wheeled devices. Then, a conversation with WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu about the coming wave of buttonless phones.

Show Notes

Read Boone’s story about single-wheelers. Also read Julian on the buttonless smartphone trend. Go back to the 2018 scooterocalypse with Alex Davies’ story about the streets of San Francisco.


Julian recommends SwitchPod. Boone recommends I’m Sorry on truTV. Mike recommends the Muji 2020 Monthly Weekly Planner. Lauren recommends the latest episode of the Scriptnotes podcast with guest Greta Gerwig.

Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Julian is @JulianChokkattu. Boone is @BooneAshworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth. Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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