The future of the television remote should be an interesting one to pay
attention to. For years now, consumers have relied on basically the same
type of TV controller: a long, button-filled remote that changes
channels, adjusts the volume and switch inputs. But with more digital
content finding its way onto the TV (think Google
TV), the remote is in
need of an overhaul. For starters, there needs to be an easier way to
input text for searching. A standard remote has just 0-9 keys, but no
effective way to input letters and symbols. Also, with Netflix and other
connected content, the TV is becoming more like a computer and less
like a dumb box that simply serves to deliver channels from an operator.
There just needs to be more interaction between the end-user and the TV,
and the remote is the one thing standing between those two. Samsung
might be onto something with their RMC30D universal Touch Control TV
remote, which looks more like a smartphone than a typical TV remote.
There's a primary Home button at the bottom, a 3" touch panel, and a
power button at the top. It's also far slimmer and sleeker than an
average remote, but way more capable and flexible. The remote is capable
of acting as a universal remote, as it's able to understand commands
for other A/V components in order to control all of your home cinema
pieces, not just your 'tube.
There's also a virtual QWERTY keyboard that can be pulled up on the
display, making it easy to input text for YouTube / Netflix searching.
Samsung plans to start shipping this remote in the first half of this
year, but no particular price is listed. Needless to say, we love where
this is going, and can't wait to see if other companies follow suit.