Several alternatives to the traditional touch-button remote are coming to market.
When the remote control was brought to market in the early 1960s, it reshaped the way we watched television, creating legions of “couch surfers.” Fifty years later, several alternatives to the traditional touch-button remote are coming to market, positioned as easier, more intuitive means to control the screen.
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At this year’s CES, two major brands showed TVs that integrate voice recognition. LG debuted a remote with voice recognition for its Smart TV, with users able to search the Web, tweet and post to Facebook, by speaking rather than typing. They can’t change the channel or control the volume, however. Most ambitious is Samsung, which released a range of televisions that integrate voice-, gesture- and facial-recognition technologies. Built-in cameras recognize viewers’ faces, automatically signing them in to their user profiles; users can then control the TV via voice commands or gestures.
As these developments continue, watch for the next generation of easy-to-operate consumer electronics to come to a store near you.