The remote control is a device that’s importance is often misjudged – it’s the one thing that is needed when reaching over and changing to one’s favorite TV show. It is a must have for every TV owner.
According to Ansgar Pabst, Business Lead for TV/AV at Samsung Electronics SA, it has been more than 60 years since the first TV remote was introduced. “Early versions of this device came complete with a cable that connected to a television set and didn’t change channels but had a zoom function to alter the size of the picture. The first wireless version appeared in the 1950s, which enabled viewers to turn their TV sets on and off, change channels and mute sound. The remote has become increasingly sophisticated from the 1960’s onwards, eventually controlling a number of devices including DVD players and audio equipment.
According to a 2013 Forbes magazine article, approximately 87 million Smart TV units were expected to be sold worldwide in 2013, with similar innovation being demanded in the handheld controls that accompany them. “At Samsung, the television remote has its own history of evolution guided by our legacy of innovative design. The first Samsung remote was the TM07 developed in 1985, which was an infrared device with 23 buttons," says Pabst. This was followed by the TM48 and TM57 models in the early to late 1990s which often featured almost double the number of keys as the predecessors, as its functionality increased exponentially.
The 2000s saw additional elements such as Bluetooth, wheel control and 3D feature buttons. In 2011, the first control with a QWERTY keyboard for internet browsing made its entrance. This device had a total 113 keys and in 2012 was succeeded by the TM 1290 which featured the first smart touch pad and voice recognition. The TV remote has also gone through a variety of designs, from classic rectangular to more modern ergonomic curved shapes.
“Samsung understands the highly differentiated needs of consumers and continuously develops innovative technology and services that will ensure a richer and deeper viewing experience and empower viewers to take control. Earlier this year Samsung announced the launch of its latest Smart Control at CES 2014. “The ergonomic oval-shaped TV remote is a complete departure from the conventional rectangular shape of previous models,” says Pabst. It boasts advanced voice interactivity, gesture recognition and functions specifically designed for frequent internet users.
“As with all our products, the development of our remote controls has centred on offering customers innovative and functional lifestyle solutions while paying close attention to design. We want to create clever designs that redefine industry standards,” he adds.
Pabst says the TV remote may well continue to evolve as the television becomes even more intelligent, thereby requiring an equally intelligent partner device. “As the world’s number one Smart TV manufacturer, Samsung will continue to be at the forefront of developments in this area, matching our customers’ demands with innovation in how they use their remote,” he concludes.