Want Better TVs? Start With the Remote Control

By Karen Fratti 

uwandIt’s about time a real remote control came with your “smart tv.” A team over at Philips Media Interaction, which operates within the Philips company, has solved your scrolling through Netflix blues.

It’s called uWand, gesture control technology that they hope manufacturers will catch on to and install in their products.

As opposed to a traditional up-down controller, the uWand uses a camera. So you point it at the television, and a mouse cursor pops up, and you move it where you want.

Navin Natoewal, General Manager of uWand, says that the camera sets them apart from competing gesture control technology in two ways: the first is that it’s more accurate. The camera sees the television, registers the television, and boom. No more scrolling through text menus and wasting twenty minutes typing in your Amazon Prime password. The second advantage to the camera is that it is open to possibilities. Developers of smart lighting systems, kitchens, and everything else we’re going to want to keep track of us could benefit from the use of the camera.

The remote sees a TV, it gives you control of that. It sees a floor lamp? It could do that, too.

“People just give up if they have to click a lot,” says Natoewal. In internal studies, they found that with traditional remotes, there are about 20 clicks to get through a menu. With uWand, about 7.

Innovating the remote could mean big things for smart television developers; how many people aren’t using them to their full functionality simply because they give up everytime a keyboard pops up and you have to enter your email to sync up your Netflix accout? Or is that just me?