English 1A 72661
The Television Remote
People are always trying to make life easier for themselves in every way imaginable. Cars can
now parallel park on their own, cable boxes will automatically record your favorite shows and movies
now come in the mail. While all these things may be simplifying everyday tasks they are also creating a
lazier breed of human. These little gadgets are never called something like the “Lazy Bones” though,
which is what the first television remote was named in 1950.
Zenith developed “Lazy Bones” in 1950 which was a remote that had two wires running from it
to a motor in the television. The obvious downside was that people didn't like the wires because the
were easily tripped over. Remote makers new they needed to build a wireless one.
Zenith then came out with the Flashmatic which was operated buy four photo cells which were
on the television. The Flashmatic was very simple and and didn't last long as the tuner would often spin
out of control if left in the sun. Then came “Zenith Space Command” which used little rods and each
rod when triggered would produce a high-frequency sound that would change the channel or adjust the
volume. In the 1960's transistors were created and remotes were then able to use batteries to make the
same sound but electronically. This extended the life of these ultrasonic remotes into the 1980's.
Remote users became more annoyed by the sound that the remotes emitted so Zenith eventually
developed inferred remotes which shine a light that is undetectable by the human eye, but is received
by a receiver on the television.
To call a remote “Lazy Bones” is perfect. This implied that if a person had one of these remotes
then they were too lazy to get off the couch and change the channel. This is a very different perspective
then that of today where it is all about simplifying and making the use...
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