Most people are thankful for the discovery of the remote control. It’s not distinct to everyone, but the science behind it has vastly improved this past decade. Alongside the advancement of science and innovation came the need for multi-purpose devices. Moreover, the foremost features are Bluetooth connectivity, motion sensors and voice control, all born from remote control technology.
In the realm of mankind’s discoveries, where does it rank? In ancient times, the wheel revolutionized transport methods. On the other hand, Michael Faraday and Benjamin Franklin’s research paved the way for the widespread use of electricity. Delving in its history will help us define its importance and how it holds up with other important findings.
The birth of remote controls is attributed to the legendary Nikola Tesla. In his patent called Method of an Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vehicle or Vehicles, he used radio waves to maneuver a boat. A few years later in Paris, Leonardo Torres-Quevedo laid the groundwork for modern remote control applications. In Bilbao, Spain, he wowed the king and the crowd by guiding a boat from the shore.
By the 1930s, many radio manufacturers were actually offering remote controls with their high-end models. It was still far from what people use today; it was even connected by a wire to the parent device.
After two wars, the development of remote controls went into simpler applications. Notably, it was and still used for changing channels in televisions. Before, it was those clunky, box-shaped one-button contraptions. Now, thanks to linear potentiometers, people can switch stations anywhere in their homes.
Since then, remote controls have been used in a myriad of functions. It’s present in military exercises, entertainment, various industries and more.
Just like the wheel and electricity, remote controls make our life much easier. It’s also massively used, like the two. So, from here on, it’s safe to say that remote controls rate as one of the most important discoveries of humankind.