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Thread: An All in 1 Remote Control! *LOL*

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Talking An All in 1 Remote Control! *LOL*

    Amazing what they can do with technology these days eh? This is a perfect product for forgetful lazy people like me ...

    PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP) -- It's the one remote control you wouldn't want to lose. That's because it's the ONLY remote you'd have.

    Researchers are hard at work trying to create an all-in-one controller that would choreograph not just home entertainment systems but also intelligent appliances all around the house: microwave ovens, clothes dryers, air conditioners, you name it.

    "You want to turn on the room and not the devices," said Peter Lucas, founder and chief executive of Maya Designs Inc., which in concert with Carnegie Mellon University researchers has created a prototype based on a Compaq iPAQ.

    The prototype handheld has so far been used to control two lamps, a fan and a stereo with a five-CD changer.

    Anyone who regularly juggles multiple remotes -- the Consumer Electronics Association estimates the average U.S. household has at least four -- can understand why the industry considers a universal remote something of a Holy Grail.

    But considerable work, and the thorny business of obtaining industry cooperation on a standard, lies ahead before consumers can even think of shelving all but one of their various remotes.

    The current crop of remotes talk to electronics or other appliances via a series of infrared pulses. Each function, like volume and power, has a different set of pulses. What's more, no two appliances respond to the same pulses.

    Anyone who has ever toyed with the current crop of multi-machine remotes knows how confusing it can be to program them to direct a typical den's worth of home electronics.

    "We have managed to take the worst of the PC industry and transplant it into home electronics," said Michael Gartenberg, research director at Jupiter Research, a New York-based new media consulting firm. "There is a reason they call it programming a remote control. Consumers give up."

    Use your cell phone to turn on a lamp
    And so the next generation of remotes seeks to break away from the traditional design -- and depend more on intelligence being programmed into the appliances with which they interact.

    The devices use wireless technology and interfaces similar to Web browsers to communicate automatically with "smart" appliances. In turn, those appliances are capable not just of taking orders from the remote -- but also of automatically communicating with one another.

    The actual remote could be a cell phone or handheld computer.

    "For the first time everybody in the house would be able to make something work instead of getting the kids," said Gregg Vanderheiden, head of the Trace Research and Development Center at the University of Wisconsin, which is also developing a next-generation remote.

    Although the current crop of multi-machine remotes have become easier on eyes and thumbs, they're still mentally tiring and shunned by many consumers.

    This will only get worse as manufacturers add more capabilities to home electronics, says Lucas. "It's getting to be a joke for the consumers," many of whom still can't program the clocks on their VCRs.

    That's where the new remotes would come in.

    Smart technology for dummies
    "The technology is all here and it could all happen tomorrow. Everyone wants to do it but they want to do it their way."
    Michael Gartenberg,
    research director

    Maya and Carnegie Mellon claim people using their Personal Universal Controller, or PUC, could operate a stereo twice as fast and with half the errors that are made in running it manually -- without taking days to learn how.

    But such remotes will have to wait for the technology they use to become more common.

    The Maya and Carnegie Mellon researchers had to rely on a laptop equipped with wireless technology to act as a translator for their Personal Universal Controller.

    They hardwired the stereo's LED display and infrared sensor to processors linked to the laptop to relay data and commands

    To control the lamps and fan, the laptop employed an X-10 transmitter, which is commonly used in home automation to send commands to household electrical wires.

    "The good news is nothing is fake," said Mike Higgins, a software engineer for Maya. "It is doing everything what it says it is doing. It's just taking an extra step to do it."

    Appliances, cost stand in the way
    Analysts estimate it could take a decade before manufacturers include in appliances the technology necessary to make them smart and talkative.

    "It's become an issue of well, the technology is there, how well can you integrate it into the product?" said industry analyst Shelly Olhava of IDC Research.

    Cost is one obstacle. Wireless chips currently range from $10 to $40, expensive considering the razor-thin profits manufacturers make on all but top-of-the-line home electronics.

    And consumers may be reluctant to use a $300 PDA as a remote.

    Manufacturers also haven't agreed on what technology appliances will use to talk. Dozens of standards are being developed, including Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play, Sun Microsystems' Jini and two-way infrared.

    "The technology is all here and it could all happen tomorrow," said Gartenberg. "Everyone wants to do it but they want to do it their way."

    Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  2. #2
    It would be great to just kick back and turn it all on, in the entire house! I know I would love it! Thx for the info gives me something to look forward to!

    BTW # of remotes only 3!
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  3. #3
    I do have 4 diffrents remotes by my bed right now. It sure would save some space.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    What happens when you lose the remote????
    Alright take it ease

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    i want a remote controled remote, so when i lose my remote i can use the other remote to remotely control the remote with some sorta satalite signal so it can go threw walls... then id needed a remote for my remote for my remote... by the time im done this i mid as well just have the 6 remotes i started with which where probly cheaper in the first place....
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    Worth should be judged on quality... Not apperance... Anyone can sell you **** inside a pretty box.. The only real gift then is the box..

  6. #6
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Beverwijk Netherlands

    Re: An All in 1 Remote Control! *LOL*

    Originally posted here by gamemaster6502
    Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    but nice post anyway
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
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