“One Nation, Under Remote Control, With …..”

The 1981 AT&T motto “Reach out and touch someone” can now be changed to “Reach out and touch something”.

Today, almost all electrical appliances and electronic devices comes with some sort of remote that lets you control the device from a distance, sometimes inches away, sometimes from the opposite side of the globe. Short range remotes usually use infrared or BlueTooth links. The opposite side of the globe stuff is brought to you courtesy of the Internet (invented by Al Gore for this purpose).

When I was  younger (much), I remember watching television in monochrome. Then came color television. Then one day at my Uncles house I saw him holding something in his hand as he watched television. A commercial began and he pressed one of the three (yes, just 3) big buttons on the thing. There was a ‘clunk’ from the television set and the channel indicator rolled up to the next channel (channels 2,4,5,7,9,11 and sometimes 13). I was really impressed. I later learned that that remote control was an option that added about 30% to the cost of the set.

Humans love to feel in control, masters of their world, even when they are not there to press the buttons in person, hence “Reach out and touch something”. If you can’t get home in time to watch that show, program your Tivo via your cell phone or PC.

I have to admit (shameless plug to follow), my favorite remote control is a product from Honeywell that my company sells. It’s called Total Connect. This handy item is actually more of a service that lets you control your security systems from any location, and uses your PC, Laptop, PDA, IPhone or cell phone as the actual remote ‘device’. When people think of this sort of thing, they are usaually envisioning themselves on a sunny beach somewhere, arming and dis-arming systems and watching their employees toil away via remote video.

Closer to the truth, most people never get to that sunny beach and find themselves using their PC at work to arm the storage room on the other side of the warehouse.

Moral of the story; Distance from ‘the problem’ is not always proportional to the happiness gained.

One Response to ““One Nation, Under Remote Control, With …..””

  1. little ramona says:

    Funny and informative!