Remote controls are vital in the operating process of consumer electronics, they command electronic systems such as a Radio sets, Television sets, DVD players and other numerous home appliances used to automatically operate the device from a short distance through a wireless connection. The wireless connection makes remote controls practical devices made to enhance convenience in the operation of home appliances and electronic devices. Users do not have to be in close contact with the electronic devices before you can carry out basic operations such as channel change, volume increase, e.t.c,. Judging by the convenience that accompanies the use of remote controls, it is almost impossible nowadays to imagine an electronic device or home appliance without a remote control component. A quick flashback in the history and evolution of remote controls shows that there were times where remote controls weren’t in existence and operation of electronic devices was somewhat a daunting task.
The first remote control for an electronic device like the television set was developed by Zenith Radio Co-operation in 1950. The new electronic component was called “lazybones”, it had a wire running from the back of the electronic device to the remote control which should be somewhere in the middle of the living room. A wireless version was later invented by 1955 and was called “flashmatic”. Further innovations from the company formed the framework through which most remote controls worked on for the next 25 years. The most notable of which was the Zenith Space Command Remote Control which worked using ultrasonic technology by Dr Robert Alder. His version of remote controls were prevalent until the discovery of Infra-red technology.
The most predominant Remote controls over the years after then were based on the working principles of IR (Infra-red), which was developed after series of other innovations had failed to provide the intended convenience. The Consumer IR devices were designed to work by sending digitally coded pulses of infra-red radiation from the remote control devices straight to the electronic device in order to be able to carry out simple controls such as volume, channel surfing, power, and many other features that are peculiar to the device. Most remote controls designed for this kind of electronic devices are small handheld wireless devices which usually contain a collection of control buttons while the device to be controlled itself has only a few basic control buttons on. Previous remote controls were based on the working principles of ultrasonic tones which required a certain code which is only peculiar to a particular product line. Innovations after this broke the limitations and now we have remote controls which can be regarded as universal and can adapt the codes of numerous product lines
Infra-red (IR) technology which involved aiming the remote control device at the electronic system, was the innovation that paved way for wireless remote controls for electronic devices and other associated systems. Nowadays RF ( Radio Frequency Remote control) seems to have taken center stage; it is a handheld wireless device used in the control of TV sets, audio devices and other electronic devices through the use of Radio Frequency Transmission. It does not require that the remote control device be aimed at any electronic system before controls can be done, it works using the principles of radio frequency. This has in a way replaced the traditional methods of making electronic and home appliances with a custom IR remote controls. Most cars now have Radio Frequency (RF) remote control mob which seems to be the next level in the process of wireless controls of electronic devices.
Nowadays, Remote control technology has advanced and taken new turns which are evident in the development of QWERTY keyboards otherwise known as wireless keyboards, air mouse control, voice search, gesture swiping control and Bluetooth connectivity.
One notable advancement in remote controls is the Apple TV Remote with Siri- Navigating with Touch is fast and fluid, users can press the Siri button for voice search and control, the new apple TV remote combines dual microphones to cancel ambient noise and Bluetooth connection means you don’t need to directly point at Apple TV. Users can control the TV or Receiver via IR or CEC (switching inputs, powering on or off, and controlling volume) and it also comes with a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer for playing games.
Advancement in remote control and electronic device technology has not stalled over the years, just like the Apple TV remote, we are seeing innovations come into the scene every single season and one can only imagine what the face of remote control technology will be in the nearest future.