The Remote Industry as we know it, some anticipate it to change drastically in the next five years. Why is that? Well finally since the industry was first introduced in 1939, there is finally technology on the market that can compete and replace this technology. Some of these new technologies include:
- Hand and Motion Gesture Technology
- Cell Phone Applications
- Tablet Applications
- Voice Recognition Control
Hand and Motion Gesture Technology
This technology is already seen in the Magic Remote, which is manufactured by LG. This technology works similar to how you are used to interacting with your Nintendo Wii or Playstation Wand, which is where you hold a device at all times, and then the TV or special sensor strips can view and monitor your movements to determine what you want to do. For example, if you moved your hand to the left quickly, that would imply you wanted to go back (generally useful when you are surfing the web on your internet enabled TV), or if you quickly moved your hand to the right, the TV/Device would assume you wanted to go forward. Also with button combinations you could press and then perform physical motion actions, you could control seperate functionality for your device, such as changing the volume or changing the channel.
Now unfortunately for this type of technology, most people want to avoid physical activity, so that may be a down fall for this kind of technology. However some may still find it useful, especially those that are health conscious and would like to find a way to remain active while using their TV or other consumer electronic device.
Cell Phone Applications
Cell phone technology is on the cusp of where remote control technology is likely to go in the next five years, if not sooner. There is actually already technology in the marketplace that you can download that can interact with your electronic device. For example, there is the iPhone Remote made by Apple for interacting with it's Apple TV. In addition, for the Xbox, there is something called Xbox Smart Glass which is developed by Microsoft.
Soon manufacturers of TV's, Blu Ray's, and other devices will build applications that can interact either through BlueTooth and/or Wireless connection to device connected to the TV, or directly to the TV to control it.
With the invent of the iPad, and now with the Windows Surface and the development of Windows 8 which promotes the use of Mobile Applications, this space is growing rapidly. Imagine one day, you'll come home, grab your tablet device and turn on your TV and other electronic devices in your home. Even more crazy then this, is that you'll maybe even have your tablet on you and you can fire up your TV while your on the go. As devices become more and more connected, everything will be able to interact with your mobile device.
Voice Recognition Control
This is relatively new in the life cycle of development, however it's been the thought by many, that this would eventually replace the traditional method of using a remote control with buttons. There is more technology using voice recognition in the last five years than there's been ever in history. For example, there is Siri which is used in the Apple iPhone 5, which can recognize voice, and perform intelligent actions using your voice, such as schedule appointments. Other examples of technology using voice recognition includes phone answering systems that listen to your voice to redirect you appropriately, and other smart phones that perform speech to text, for hands free text messaging purposes.
This technology however, will probably not replace the traditional remote in the next five years, but could be a real possibility in the next ten to fifteen years, as technology and demand continues to increase.
The problem with all these new technologies, is the question, will everyone want to use these new methods. Alot of people are still used to the traditional remote, and trying to use their devices with these new ways of controlling them, will cause some people to be open to the idea, and others may never want to change. The first wave of change will likely happen when the manufacturers start to incorporate some of these new technologies in their new TV's etc. For example, in the next 2 or 3 years, it's definitely a possibility that a major manufacturer will bundle an application for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone that can allow the user to control their device. However while they offer that ability, they will still have to create a way for the traditional user to interact with the device, and that will likely be the traditional remote control.