Appliances can facilitate people’s interaction with them by outsourcing their inputs and outputs to remote controls. Remote controls can compensate for constraints in an appliance’s form factor, lessen overall cost, and enable distance interactions. Modern “smart appliances”, which can interconnect with other computational devices, take this one step further: a mobile device can control multiple appliances via custom interfaces with rich interaction capabilities. We foresee ubiquitous computing ecologies, where a room may have myriads of smart appliances all potentially controllable via a mobile device. However, this leads to four problems. It is difficult to: (1) discover which appliances are controllable; (2) select an individual appliance from the ecology; (3) view information about an appliance; and (4) pertinently reveal controls. We mitigate these problems by applying the theoretical concepts of proxemic interaction and gradual engagement to the design of mobile remote controls. In particular, our remote control designs mimic social protocols in which people orient towards and approach one another to mediate interpersonal interactions, except that in our case we mediate person to appliance interaction. This thesis covers and contributes a design exploration and prototype that demonstrates our application of these concepts.