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Inventor of the TV Remote Control Dies 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the rest-in-peace dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Yes, kids, you used to have to walk across the room to change the TV channel. That changed with the introduction of the 'Flash-Matic,' a revolutionary device that was 'Absolutely harmless to humans!' and could 'even shut off annoying commercials while the picture remains on the screen.' Eugene Polley, inventor of the now ubiquitous TV remote-control died Sunday of natural causes at age 96. In 1996 Polley received an Emmy for his invention, but during his 47-year career, he was awarded numerous patents and worked on projects ranging from advances in radar to push-button car radios."
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Inventor of the TV Remote Control Dies

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  • Re:Duplicate idea (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chemisor (97276) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @08:30PM (#40082263)

    > this device was quite much copied from Nokia's symbian phones

    Even though we have remote controls today, and clicking on the article link no longer requires you to get your ass out of your chair, you can still make a fool of yourself by being too lazy to read it and discover that the first remote control was invented in 1955, long before there was Symbian, or mobile phones.

  • Re:Duplicate idea (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @08:30PM (#40082267)

    but either way, it was penned by a fairly disappointing example of a person

  • Re:Parrot TV (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @10:20PM (#40082763)

    " They weren't even electronic - each button on the remote caused a tine to be pulled and released which was tuned to a specific ultrasonic frequency."

        They were also introduced by Zenith a year later, and called "The Space Command". They were far more successful than the "Flash-Matic", which had to be aimed accurately, went through batteries quickly, and the TV had to be kept out of direct lighting or the photocells on the TV wouldn't trigger, or would be triggered randomly.

        We had our 25" monochrome Zenith until 1976, when my parents decided to _finally_ get a colour set. (I think that a lot of that had to do with fact that I was just learning to drive, and I found out that a combination of car keys and small coins gently jiggled in my pocket would cause the TV to go nuts.)

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