Are You Ready for Touch-Sensitive, Gesture-Recognizing TV Remotes?

I’ve been fascinated to the advancements in remote controls since I got my hands on my first universal remote that CONTROLLED ALL THE MEDIA STUFFS!  Now, thanks to the advent of smartphones, you can control your media set-up with a simple app via touchscreen, or shell out the cash for those fancy Logitech remotes (while they’re still available).  However, when you’re absent-mindedly channel surfing on the television, having physical buttons mean you don’t need to look down to change the channel. Plus, now that motion gesturing is becoming an handy way to control user interfaces, Philips has developed a new kind of remote technology called RevoTouch, which attempts to bring the best of physical buttons and gesture movements.

Philips recently revealed the prototypes at the IBC show, but to the untrained — or ANY — eye, they just look like traditional TV remotes. However, the familiar plastic buttons hide a secret: every button has touchpad capabilities, similar to the PlayStation 3 Wireless Bluetooth Keypad. Along with the familiarity of pressing buttons, users can also swipe or flick across the entire remote for added functionality, bridging the gap between the old school (pressing buttons) and new school (touch gesture) interfaces in a single remote.

Philips intends to offer this technology on the remotes they produce for OEMs, allowing them individually customize which buttons will contain the extra touch capabilities. As soon as this technology in remotes hits the consumer market, just imagine spending a lazy weekend afternoon in front of the tube…


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