From its very Inception, Technology became a medium to automate things. Humans dreamed of machines doing their physical work. In the early 20s radio and televisions used to be controlled with a physical tuner to set channels and sounds. Each time you had to get off from your comforting couch to tune in your device according to your requirement. Then technology experts invented a new device which had a few buttons i.e. a power button, a mute button and a tune up and tune down button, and these controllers were attached to your televisions with cables, although it was not “Remote”, so that you can control and manipulate your television from your couch (It’s still a mystery that invention of remotes was due to technology revolution or Human Laziness).
Invention of Remote controlling technology
Unbelievably the first remote controller was designed in as early as in 1800’s when a Serbian-American scientist called Nikola Tesla, designed his first remote controller for controlling a mini-boat. This remote controller was named as “Teleautomaton” and it used sound waves to operate. He even patented his invention with the name of “Method of an Apparatus for Controlling Mechanisms of Moving Vehicle or Vehicles.”
Remote controls were also used in military services to control aero planes and in the year 1939 the first remote for consumer electronic devices was designed and named as “Philco Mystery Control” which was used to control radio with low frequency radio transmitting waves.
The first Television remote was invented in the year 1950 by Zenith Radio Corporation which used light censors to control televisions. After then, in the year 1956 they developed controllers that used ultrasonic sound waves to control televisions as the light sensors that were previously used had various disruptions from sun light and house lamps. It became a standard for remote controllers of TVs until 1980s, when infrared signals (IR) where introduced and soon remotes became a common device in each and every household.
Invention of First Universal remote
In early 2000s, remotes flooded the houses for the need of comfort and control for all the household entertainment devices. Every house had an average of four remotes due to the increasing use of remotes for all media devices. The problem of using separate remotes for individual devices created the need of having a universal remote. In the year 1985, the first universal remote was invented by Philips under the brand name of Magnavox. This initiated the revolution in remote controlling units for entertainment devices. Today you have multiple devices like TVs, DVD players, VCRs, Audio players and other entertainment utilities and it is almost impossible to have a separate remote for all these devices. Here universal remotes play an important role in providing flexibility and hassle free control of all these devices right just at the tip of your finger. Universal remotes have become much more sophisticated which now provides a very user friendly interface to interact and control media devices by providing LCD touch screens and voice commands to feed instructions and commands to control different electronic devices with less clutter.