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Why Your House is Filled With the Ghosts of Remote Controls

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When buying a television, the only guarantee you can expect is to endure a manhunt for its remote control. Admittedly, our generation has been spoiled by the ease television remote controls offer for surfing through the copious channels that fill our cable networks, all with the benefit of doing little more than dropping your finger as gravity intended. We’ve even become so self-indulgent as to require a car remote control to avoid walking down our driveway and turning the ignition in order to escape the winter cold.

The first television audiences were lucky enough not to be hindered by the need for a wireless connection to enjoy their entertainment. However, by 1985 television remote controls were standard commodities for half of all color television sets. And in a true technology wave fashion, that number had jumped up to three-quarters of all color televisions by 1988.

Here began the downward spiral of purchasing replacement television remote controls. Not only for televisions, but for numerous devices we can now control wirelessly. From DVD players to stereo equipment, over half of standard American living rooms contain at least four devices that require the use of remote controls.

Fortunately, independent companies have caught onto this trend and capitalized on the opportunity, creating remotes that can operate on various devices through the use of universal remote codes. These devices are not necessarily the easiest technology to figure out, but remote manuals are included to aid users in programming a remote.

The opportunity for improved technology in this field is ever-growing. Right now it may only be fancy features with extra control buttons, but companies are constantly attempting to innovate the next surge in the market. WIth tablets and smartphones now the standard in personal devices, a touch screen remote seems an inevitable product. About half (from 47 to 59%) of consumers around the world have shown interest in incorporating such a device to alleviate their entertainment experience. Until then, stick with the usual couch cushion routine to find that remote.

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