Sunday, February 18, 2007

End of An Era for Remote Control.

I am not a television freak and follow it just for few news channels, FRIENDS and sometimes tossing between the music channels. Other than that to me it’s an idiot box and it is indeed. But today while I was going through the morning newspaper, saw one news that really saddened me.

Now imagine operating a TV set, or watching one, without a remote control? These days, television has metastasized from a few channels to a 100+ channels, (just try getting from Channel 10 to Channel 99 without the remote control). To think of a TV set without a remote control is like getting a laptop without any operating system on it. The remote control made watching TV a comfortable and a lazy experience and few even hold this freaky small gadget responsible for the new generation of couch potatoes.
In a May 2004 interview with the Associated Press, Adler recalled being among two dozen engineers at Zenith given the mission to find a new way for television viewers to change channels without getting out of their chairs or tripping over a cable.

But he downplayed his role when asked if he felt his invention helped raise a new generation of couch potatoes.

"People ask me all the time, 'Don't you feel guilty for it?' And I say, 'That's ridiculous,' " he said. "It seems reasonable and rational to control the TV from where you normally sit and watch television."

Dr. Robert Adler, inventor of the wireless remote control for television in 1956 among many accomplishments and contributions to the consumer electronics industry, died of heart failure, on Feb. 15’ 07. He was 93. In his six-decade career with Zenith, Adler a prolific inventor, earned more than 180 U.S. patents. Adler joined Zenith’s research division in 1941 after earning a doctorate in physics from the University of Vienna. He retired as research vice president in 1979, and served as a technical consultant until 1999, when Zenith merged with LG Electronics Inc.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Adler and co-inventor Polley, another Zenith engineer, an Emmy in 1997 for the landmark invention.

This man was a genius and I feel Adler's triumph was the gateway to wirelessness in general. I feel the TV remote control taught us to expect similar ease and practicality in almost everything in our daily lives. The remote is the direct root of automatic garage-door openers, wireless phones, remote keyless entry in cars, operation of AC’s etc. At least we got an idea for that. Even age didn’t reduce his endeavor and he published his most recent patent application, for advances in touch screen technology, on Feb. 1’ 2007, just a few days before his demise.

More here from CNN.

You see he really preferred reading to watching TV. Interesting!!!
His wife, Ingrid, said Adler wouldn't have chosen the remote control as his favorite invention. In fact, he didn't even watch much television.

"He was more of a reader," she said. "He was a man who would dream in the night and wake up and say, 'I just solved a problem.' He was always thinking science."

Infact reading is the beginning of anything and everything, me-thinks. Just a word, as a mark of respect for this man, press the mute button for a moment of silence, today while watching TV.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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At 11:30 AM, Blogger Sumanth said...

Very sensible post.I read the same in today's newspaper but you added some more interesting and valuable information.Its quite good and I do agree with you , will mute my TV for a while today.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger B.Sunil said...

I second sumanth.

Very good piece of information, really.


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