If today you can change your TV channel without getting out of bed, then thank the inventor of the first wireless TV remote control, Eugene Polley. He died last Sunday (May 20) of natural causes in a Chicago hospital, Zenith Electronics told the BBC.
Born in Chicago in 1915, Polley was 96 years old. He began his engineering career in 1935, and worked at Zenith for 47 years, earning 18 US patents for his projects.
His first invention of the wireless remote control, created in 1955, was called Flash-Matic. It pointed a beam of light at the screen of the TV set, making it possible to change channels or turn the device on / off without having to get up from the couch. The device did not work very well and it was necessary to adjust the aiming angle perfectly so that it could be effective.
Polley’s invention represented a revolution in the way people watched television. For the first time, viewers were able to change channels whenever they wanted without having to go to the TV.