Remote control

Definition and Types of Remote Controls
– An electronic device used to operate another device from a distance
– Allows operation of devices out of convenient reach
– Primarily a convenience feature for users
– Can be used to operate devices such as televisions, DVD players, and home media appliances
– Some remote controls allow operation of devices that cannot be reached directly
– Early remote controls used ultrasonic tones
– Present-day remote controls use infrared radiation
– Remote controls have buttons for various functions like power, volume, and playback
– Remote control codes are usually specific to a product line
– Universal remotes can emulate remote controls for major brand devices

Advancements in Remote Control Technology
– Remote controls in the 2000s include Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity
– Motion sensor-enabled capabilities and voice control are also available
– Smart TVs may have a standalone keyboard for typing and as a pointing device
– Remote controls for digital home media appliances have become more advanced
– Constant innovation has led to improved features and user experience

History and Evolution of Remote Control
– Remote control development started in the late 19th century
– German engineer Werner von Siemens developed a wired remote control in 1870
– British engineers Ernest Wilson and C. J. Evans developed radio controlled remote controls in 1897
– Nikola Tesla demonstrated a remote control prototype in 1898
– Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres Quevedo introduced a radio-based control system in 1903
– Zenith Radio Corporation developed the first remote control for a television in 1950
– Eugene Polley developed the wireless remote control called the Flashmatic in 1955
– Robert Adler developed the Zenith Space Command, a wireless mechanical remote control, in 1956
– Transistor technology led to cheaper electronic remotes in the 1960s
– RCA introduced an all-electronic remote control in 1970, replacing motor-driven tuning controls

Other Applications of Remote Controls
– The Blab-off, created in 1952, was a wired remote control that turned a TV’s sound on or off to avoid commercials
– In the 1980s, Steve Wozniak started a company named CL 9 to create a remote control that could operate multiple electronic devices
– The CORE unit, introduced in 1987, was the first remote control that could learn signals from different devices and be linked to a computer
– CL 9 eventually closed down, but two employees continued the business under the name Celadon, creating one of the first computer-controlled learning remote controls
– In the 1990s, cars began to be sold with electronic remote control door locks, and remote starters became popular in countries with winter climates

Technical Aspects of Remote Controls
– Infrared (IR) light is the main technology used in home remote controls
– IR remote control handsets send out pulses of invisible light when buttons are pressed
– The receiver in the device recognizes the unique pattern of infrared light and responds accordingly
– The transmitter in the remote control handset is often an LED built into the pointing end
– Digital cameras or phones can capture the pulses of infrared light emitted by the remote control
– Most remote controls use a near infrared diode to emit a beam of light that reaches the device
– The infrared light is not visible to the human eye but can be seen as purple light through digital cameras
– Single channel remote controls use a carrier signal to trigger a function, while multi-channel remotes use modulated carrier signals
– The received signal is demodulated and filtered to separate the respective signals
– IR remote controls use a pulse width modulated code, encoded and decoded by a digital computer
– Different manufacturers use different protocols to transmit infrared commands
– Infrared remote controls can be programmed to work with specific protocols and devices
– Infrared remote controls require line of sight to operate the destination device
– Mirrors can reflect the infrared signal, allowing remote control operation even without direct line of sight
– IR extenders are available to relay the IR signal via radio waves when line of sight is not possible
– Infrared receivers have a limited operating angle, which can be increased using a matte transparent object
– Operating angle depends on the optical characteristics of the phototransistor in the receiver
– Radio remote controls use radio signals to control distant objects
– They are used with garage door openers, gate openers, burglar alarms, and industrial automation systems
– RF remotes can use Bluetooth AVRCP, Zigbee (RF4CE), Z-Wave standards
– RF remotes use their own coding, transmitting fixed or rolling codes with OOK or FSK modulation
– Universal RF transmitters and receivers can work with multiple codings and copy existing remote controls

Remote control (Wikipedia)

In electronics, a remote control (also known as a remote or clicker) is an electronic device used to operate another device from a distance, usually wirelessly. In consumer electronics, a remote control can be used to operate devices such as a television set, DVD player or other digital home media appliance. A remote control can allow operation of devices that are out of convenient reach for direct operation of controls. They function best when used from a short distance. This is primarily a convenience feature for the user. In some cases, remote controls allow a person to operate a device that they otherwise would not be able to reach, as when a garage door opener is triggered from outside.

A Samsung Nuon N2000 television and DVD remote control
An air conditioning unit remote control
The standard symbol used to denote that it uses infrared as a way to send the signal to devices

Early television remote controls (1956–1977) used ultrasonic tones. Present-day remote controls are commonly consumer infrared devices which send digitally-coded pulses of infrared radiation. They control functions such as power, volume, channels, playback, track change, heat, fan speed, and various other features. Remote controls for these devices are usually small wireless handheld objects with an array of buttons. They are used to adjust various settings such as television channel, track number, and volume. The remote control code, and thus the required remote control device, is usually specific to a product line. However, there are universal remotes, which emulate the remote control made for most major brand devices.

Remote controls in the 2000s include Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, motion sensor-enabled capabilities and voice control. Remote controls for 2010s onward Smart TVs may feature a standalone keyboard on the rear side to facilitate typing, and be usable as a pointing device.


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