Remote Control Infographic

Remote controls have made all our lives easier. From universal remote control televisions and other consumer electronics, to remote controlled garages to advances in remote controlled surgeries, there’s no denying that the ability to control things remotely has improved the quality of life for everyone.
But is there a downside to all this? Worse yet, has the remote control led to the downfall of society?
At Pannam, we have a vested interest in remote control technology so wanted to dig deeper into this question and see if in fact it’s having a negative impact on our culture. So we compiled research and put together this infographic called “How the Remote Control has Led to the Downfall of Society.”
If you like it, please share it with others. You also can add the infographic on your website using the HTML code below. We ask that you credit us, Pannam Imaging, the membrane switch experts, as the source.
Remote Control Infographic
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Full Infographic Text Transcription:

How the Remote Control Has Lead to the Downfall of Society

History of the remote control:

  • remote controls predate TVs:
    • 1898: Nikola Tesla demonstrated the world’s first practical remote-controlled boat (i.e. “teleautomaton”)
  • 1950: Eugene Polley developed the “Lazy Bone” remote control
    • a cord connected the handheld device and the TV
  • 1956: Robert Adler invented the “Space Command” remote control
    • wireless, high-frequency, ultrasonic sound
  • 1980s: remotes began using infrared light signals (remain popular today)
  • remote controls changed how humans interact with electronic devices
  • List of things controlled with a remote control
    • car door locks
    • garage door
    • ceiling fan
    • air conditioner
    • model airplane
    • toilet (Kohler C3 bidet)
    • security system
  • remotes became popular for so many systems that there was “remote overload”
    • “remote overload” led to ‘universal remotes’
      • univ. remotes are programmed to control a multitude of digital devices
        • DVD/VCR
        • amplifier
        • computer
        • game console
        • cable box
        • satellite box
        • climate controller
        • light controller

Remote-Controlled War

  • first pilotless drone developed for the US navy in 1916 and 1917 by Elmer Sperry and Peter Hewitt
    • originally designed as an unmanned aerial bomb
  • first unmanned flight in history occurred March 6, 1918
  • ‘point and fly’ technique – gyroscopes for direction and barometer to figure out height
    • too imprecise and idea shelved in 1925
helped lead to advances in this new type of warfare

  • could lead to dehumanization of both the enemy and civilians (distant “pilots” more readily kill people, even innocents)
    • physically removed from danger and casualties
    • emotions/subjectivity replaced by objective decision-making
  • WWI: remotely controlled boats loaded with explosives to attack and sink opposition ships
    • FL-7 unmanned boats (radio controlled boat, similar to Tesla’s design from 1898)
      • German “sprengbootes” carried 300 lbs of explosives
        • tethered by a 50-mile wire to a controller (sitting 50 feet above, then later relocated the controller to an overhead airplane) and located on shore
        • used in 1916
        • armed forces could direct armaments from a distance
          • Drones today can be controlled from virtually anywhere
          • The first drone, WWI’s Kettering Bug could fly up to 75 miles
            • Because the war ended soon after production began, the Kettering Bug wasn’t widely used
  • WWII: range of guided missiles and torpedoes deployed
    • remote controls detonated bombs for the first time
      • By 1943, the German military was using the Ruhustahl SD 1400 “Fritz X” radio-controlled bomb
        • Had to be dropped by plane over the target
  • Recent use of drones by the military:
    • remote-controlled aircraft that can carry weapons, cameras, and sensors across territory
      • The US MQ-1 Predator Drone:
        • Used for: Armed reconnaissance, airborne surveillance and target acquisition
        • Wingspan: 55 feet
        • Weight: 1,130 pounds when empty
        • Speed: Cruise speed around 84 mph, up to 135 mph
        • Range: Up to 770 miles
        • Ceiling: Up to 25,000 feet
        • Armament: Two laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles
          • Approx. 100lbs each
          • Crew (remote): Two (pilot and sensor operator)
          • Unit Cost: $20 million (fiscal 2009 dollars) (includes four aircraft, a ground control station and a Predator Primary Satellite Link)
    • increasing number of drones are being deployed by the US military:
      • 2002: fewer than 200
      • 2013: more than 11,000

Civilian Drones:

  • uses for personal drones:
    • tour guide
    • “hobby” – for unmanned flight enthusiasts
    • fitness companion
    • bodyguard?
    • overhead umbrella?
    • dog walker?
    • amateur cartography?

Commercial Drones:

  • used for:
    • cinematography (filming movies)
      • used as platforms for cameras
      • photography
      • surveying
      • crop management
      • parcel delivery: ex. Amazon Prime Air
        • goal is to use drones (octocopters) to deliver Amazon packages to customers within 30 minutes of purchase from
        • uses octocopters (8-propeller drones) the size of a remote-controlled plane to pick up package (5 lbs or less) from fulfillment centers
          • GPS used to locate the customer’s location
          • Prime Air should be in use within the next 4-5 years

The Future of the Remote Control

  • There has been some innovation/advancements of remote controls over the last five years
  • Device-powered remotes
    • Microsoft’s SmartGlass
      • Turns your tablet or smartphone into a remote touchpad to navigate Xbox 360 menus
  • Handsfree remotes
    • Microsoft’s Kinect
      • no need to hold any sort of controller to control console games
    • Samsung has started to integrate gesture control
      • small cameras track movement
      • wave hand to control volume and menu selection
      • voice control
  • Possible dangers associated with future iterations of the remote control?
    • vulnerable to hackers
      • wifi vulnerability
      • if a single centralized remote can control all of your electronic devices (smart phone, tablet, computer, entertainment system, gaming console, etc.), all data entered could be at risk
        • hijack data and devices
          • hack into remote and gain access to any device being controlled
            • access to all passwords, private information, etc. stored/entered into the remote or any devices controlled by the remote
            • gain access to private information (credit card, personal records, etc.)
              • identity theft
  • automated tasks controlled by increasingly powerful/intelligent robots
    • function as (essentially) the brain, muscle, and remote
    • man-power progressively being replaced by robots
    • machines/robots can complete tasks more fewer mistakes and much more quickly than humans are able

We hold the power in our hands. What will we control next?


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