TV Remotes Are Rapidly Evolving

TV Remote
Previously, we’ve explored the future of TV remotes. Various manufacturers are attempting to develop new ways to experience on-screen television content, because, as The Verge’s editor-in-chief Nilay Patel describes it, “navigating TV interfaces [is very difficult].”

Vizio, a home entertainment company based in Irvine, Calif., recently allied with Google to investigate how to modernize remote controls.

"We’re navigating from remotes that were invented in the 1950s. That needs to be dynamited," said Matt McRare, chief technology officer for Vizio. “The answer is to get rid of the remote control as a device category. Any screen should be a remote control."

Vizio and Google have invented the Vizio Tablet Remote, which comes with the 2016 P Series of television sets.

It’s essentially a 6-inch Android tablet, which allows the user to control TV settings via a “SmartCast” app, as well as cast programming and videos from Netflix and YouTube directly onto the TV. No more buttons.

"Vizio understood the power of bringing the interaction model to the second screen," Mario Queiroz, Google VP, stated. "They understood the ability they would have to build a lot of experiences you couldn’t build on the first screen."

In the video below, Patel demonstrates the product, calling it “the most integrated implementation we’ve ever seen of cast, discovery and hardware.”

Meanwhile, Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) has partnered with Comcast to investigate its own brand of remote control. The cable company could potentially spend $1 billion on the technology.

"It's not just a clicker anymore," said Lou Hughes, EVP for UEI.

UEI is known for producing the X1 voice remote, which Comcast currently utilizes.

With these continued advancements, it seems highly likely that TV remotes of the future will incorporate entertainment metadata to assist with and simplify the content discovery process.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image via Shutterstock.



  1. In the video, it's mentioned that there are no tuners in the Vizio P series with Cast, 'you can't get linear TV'... is that right?

    1. Hi JM, the Vizio website describes the TVs as "tuner-free."