Eugene Polley, inventor of the wireless remote control has passed away aged 96. Working for Zenith Electronics, he developed the FlashMatic control in 1955, using beams of light directed at photo-sensors in a television to change channel or volume. Like all pioneering technology it had some quirks -- it couldn't distinguish between the light from the remote and direct sunlight, causing inadvertent channel changes during summer days. Dr. Robert Adler (1913 - 2007) superseded the technology with his ultrasonic "clicker," but Polley's system would be reborn with the advent of infra-red remotes. He subsequently went on to work on the push-button radio and helped to develop the video disc -- the predecessor of DVD. Both men were honored with Emmy Awards in 1997 and countless other plaudits for their engineering achievement, as well as knowing that a sizable proportion of the planet use their work on a daily, nay hourly basis. Our thoughts are with his family.
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