Are Remote Controls on Their Way Out?

Though we now take them for granted, TVs did not always have remote controls. Even in the 1960s, TV remotes were a rare commodity and only the very expensive TVs had them. Even then, they were nowhere close to the TV remotes we have now.

People who couldn’t afford the high end TVs with remotes, had to use a device called ChannelScan. It comprised of an actuator, equipped with an AC power motor and it actually turned the channel knob physically. But even this remote was not wireless.

Moreover, the remotes on the expensive TVs depended on technologies like ultrasound and visible light which came with their own set of problems. For example, pets hated the ultrasound remotes and the visible light enabled TVs were so sensitive that even light falling on the TV would change the channel.

We have come a long way from those days. Now we have something called Universal Remote Controller. But even that concept is not fully actualized. Most homes have separate remotes for the cable, for the TV, for the DVD player. There are also a bunch of other controllers for WiFi, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV and so on. This won’t stay for long.

Embedded engineers are already working on ‘gesture control’ and ‘voice control’ technologies for TVs. There are those who would say this is a dream. However, looking at the rate science is progressing the day is not far when these new technologies will become a reality.