Armchair Harmonics

Radio Remote Controls and the Historical Persistence of Push-Buttons

Authored by: Brent Strang

The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138216266
eBook ISBN: 9781315442686
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315442686-12

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Abstract

The remote control, as a device, might well be on the road to obsolescence. Users, increasingly, are controlling their screens with laptops, game controllers, smartphone apps, voice, and gesture control. Perhaps it is time to empty our junk drawers and say good riddance to those dusty, unused, button-cluttered hunks of plastic. The remote control has long been an object of frustration, a cantankerous and uncooperative creature that multiplies rapidly and refuses to get along with others of its kind. But even as users become accustomed to new devices and habits, there is one feature of the remote control device that remains stubbornly resistant to obsolescence—the hard push-button.

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