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What is the history of Remote Control?

Team StoryWeavers|March 02, 2020, 07:48 IST| 142

Max and Minnie had a long day at school. All they wanted to do was eat some tasty snacks, watch their favourite TV show, and relax before their evening study sessions. As soon as they turned on the TV,  the question arose – Who commands the remote control? Will they watch Max’s favourite channel or Minnie’s favourite TV show?  The fight for the TV remote continued.

Does this sound familiar? Mostly, the answer is a big yes. But have you wondered what it would be like if there was no remote control?  

No surfing through the TV channels at the comfort of the couch!

No remote cars!

Electronic gadgets had to be turned on and off manually, every time!

Isn’t the thought maddening?

Since its first invention, remote controls have made our lives easy by being that little gadget that has made TV viewing seamless, to begin with. But do you know how remote controls have evolved over time? From a wired appliance to a space command appliance, its journey has been amazing. 

Today, let us look at the history of the remote control and its journey.  

The Mystery Control Remote System was invented by a company called Philco in the 1930s. It operated on radio frequencies and was used to control the household radio. Being the most innovative invention of its age, the Philco Mystery Control looked like a rotary telephone without the handset. It was the size of a dictionary and, hence, was not portable. 

The first TV remote control came to existence because of one man’s desire to mute the commercials. The man was Eugene F McDonald, the president of Zenith Radio Corporation. He challenged his engineers to create a device that can mute the TV and change the channel at his comfort. The result was the Lazy Bones Remote Control.  The remote was wired, and the cable ran from the TV set to the viewer, meandering across the living room. 

The public appreciated the luxury of changing channels from their couch through the wired Lazy Bones Remote. But they did not want to get off the couch to reach the remote. So, Zenith Radio Corporation took a step ahead.

In 1955, Zenith Radio Corporation introduced the first wireless TV remote control and called it Flashmatic Remote Controls. It was operated with the help of four photocells – one in each corner of the TV screen. The remote control had a directional flashlight that could activate the photocells which would switch the sound and video on or off, or change the channels. This pioneering achievement had its limitations. The receptors responded to other light sources like bulbs and sunlight.

In 1956, Zenith Radio Corporation found even more efficient technology – the use of ultrasonic sound waves rather than the light waves. This type of remote control was called the Space Command Remote Control.    

In Space Command Remote Control, the high-frequency ultrasonic sound waves were generated using aluminium rods, and the receiver in the TV set picks it up. The processed sound waves switched the TV on or off, or changed the channel, or mute or unmute the sound. The remote was user-friendly. It had multiple buttons for different functions. It also lets the user change the colour of their TV screens. 

After 25 years of Ultrasonic remotes, Infrared Technology became the focus. By the 1980s, the remote controls with infrared light beams became popular. They worked on batteries. The low-frequency light beams emitted by remote controls are invisible to the human eye, but the receiver in the TV set could detect it. The shortcoming of this remote control is the need to point the remote control in the direction of its electronic gadget. The flaw is overcome by Radio Frequency Remote Controls

The Radio Frequency (RF) Remote Controls are the handheld devices that use radio frequency transmissions. They are used in car key fobs, garage door openers and other home automation systems. Nevertheless, IR remote controls still remain a popular choice of remote control manufacturers globally. 

From the Early Radio Remote to the Infrared Remote Control to Radio Frequency Remote control, remote controls have come a long way. With numerous innovations making their way into the world every season, what would you like to control with a remote? Let us know in the comments below!

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Leave a Comment




October 11, 2020

very intresting

Nila Sounya

August 16, 2020

I never thought about the remote control and thanks to byju’s for telling about this

Ch Monika sai

August 6, 2020

Wow?? I never thought yat ‼️‼️

Aarav Ahuja

July 23, 2020

Very Good Byju’s and THANK YOU for this

Rishika Roy

July 12, 2020

Never really gave a thought to such an everyday thing in my life!! That is before of course I read this byjus article

Aditya Ranjan

July 2, 2020

Very knowledgeable


June 4, 2020

I was fantastic . Even a remote has a big history and revolution

Beetantani Halder

May 31, 2020

Most interesting as a part of new evolution


May 23, 2020

Very nice history. Thankyou


May 11, 2020

Mind blowing…?✌️

Purbasha Falguni

April 22, 2020

Amazing. Now. I believe that everything has a history!!!

Arushi Mukherjee

April 16, 2020

Very interesting and nice, never knew
the history of remote.???

Aaryan Rawat

April 11, 2020

It was very good but can I have a information on the evolution of money?


April 8, 2020

Its a great invention


April 3, 2020

Amazing and lot of knowledge


March 27, 2020

Wow great


March 26, 2020

Was very helpful and interesting.


March 24, 2020

Nice and great revolution of this remote .They are helpful to us..


March 23, 2020

Omg,it’s so cool! Thank you byjus?

Richa Borah

March 22, 2020

Never thought of history of remotes from pressing in the TV to our hands !!!!

Anurag roy

March 22, 2020

Too interesting

Akash. K

March 20, 2020

Great innovation

Naman Agrawal

March 20, 2020

The revolution is really great , thank you Byju`s


March 17, 2020

This history of Remote Control helps us to better understand about it
Thank you so much Byjus!

Md Zaman

March 14, 2020


Amrita Das

March 12, 2020


Ayush Prakash Saha

March 9, 2020

very interesting.We have the INFRARED Remote Control.


March 8, 2020

Interesting to know the history of remote control


March 8, 2020

Amazing! , I had never thought that the remote control has a big history

Pavitra Suresh

March 7, 2020

Hey I love BYJU’S because it is my first time studying it and it is exiting and fun I really love Byjus’s ???


March 7, 2020

Very interesting. Nice facts about the remote. Lot of knowledge.???

Ch Monika sai

March 6, 2020

Fantastic remote journey from many years

Trishan Saha

March 6, 2020


Alankrit kashyap

March 6, 2020

I learn many things about it that when it was invented and how it make the human life easy….


March 6, 2020

If you ask me what would I control I would control my future robot that I am gonna make

Vaibhav Borhade

March 6, 2020

Its too great information thank you Byju’s the learning app


March 6, 2020

Really great everything around us has an evolution.
I would like to control my pen with remote
Control firstly.


March 5, 2020

Wow! What a history of Remote.?


March 5, 2020

Very great

Tanishka Maurya

March 5, 2020



March 5, 2020

I gained a lots of knowledge

Kartikey naugain

March 5, 2020

Thanx byjus by this we get lots of knowledge ☺️?.

Stuti Gupta

March 5, 2020

Amazing information


March 4, 2020

It’s really very interesting to know about the evolution of remotes ?


March 4, 2020

It was interesting a lot,a lot,a lot.
I knew many new things today

Amrutha m g

March 4, 2020

I want to control Time as well

Razin Keelath

March 4, 2020

I would like to control the doors and windows in my house by remotes!

Gautham ganesh

March 4, 2020

Awesome? thanks byjus

Yelisetty varun

March 4, 2020

It was great to learn and know about remot thankyou for sending us #nd iWant to know about wireless remote can you send me

Harvir Kaur

March 4, 2020

Knowing something interesting.


Harvir Kaur

March 4, 2020

Very nice knowing something interesting


March 4, 2020

Really interesting amazing and intriguing facts! Aren’t they?


March 4, 2020

Interesting history of remote.even I would say like Shaivi said . Didn’t believe even remote control had some history!!


March 4, 2020

So interesting. I had never thought about a common TV remote before.

Shatàkshi baberwal

March 4, 2020

Wow ……so interesting for me


March 4, 2020



March 4, 2020

To cool

Dheepak G

March 4, 2020

Lots of thinking and knowledge


March 4, 2020


Samir Dutta

March 3, 2020

It’s wonderful. Evolution of remote control. It’s amazing.????

Gleaming gauri???

March 3, 2020

I don’t know there will a mystery behind this subject thanks for this wonderful story

Ghazal Reji

March 3, 2020

This is fascinating.WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Byjus for this amazing information

Jai sharma

March 3, 2020

Wha very very interesting

Sakshi Suryakant Kulkarni

March 3, 2020

Great revolution of remote. Thank you BYJU’S

CH daksh

March 3, 2020

That’s our future gadgets ?????

Sparsh singh

March 3, 2020

Human brain is awesome!!!!


March 3, 2020

Super ?

G bhanuparkash

March 3, 2020

Thanks to BYJU’S my study approach has changed.

Ishita bhalla

March 3, 2020

Interesting thanks for giving us soo much of knowledge byjus

Mahalaxmi. S. S

March 3, 2020

Superb!!! I never knew this!


March 3, 2020

Send me things like this I liked it ?‍??‍?

Aman Prakash Singh

March 3, 2020

Awesome!!!! You gave us great knowledge
Thank you Byjus’s

Prithvi Subhash

March 3, 2020

That’s a lot of helpful information. All thanks to BYJU’S ???

Christy dixon

March 3, 2020



March 3, 2020

Interesting. Nice


March 3, 2020

Love to see these revolutionary thingas?

Aditi Kumari

March 3, 2020

This is an awesome and interesting thing for this month ?????????


March 3, 2020

Cool interested !!


March 3, 2020



March 2, 2020



March 2, 2020

Quite interesting . Then humans from the flasmatic times,were able to operate TV by sitting on acouch with ease………. Quite indigenous

Samaira mahajan

March 2, 2020

Interesting n fun to read!


March 2, 2020

I like this remote story thanku zenith radio cooperation for this comfortable remote of TV and also thanku byju for telling this knowledgeable story♡♡


March 2, 2020

Lots of knowledge and this is helpful to me

Sanika Kendre

March 2, 2020

What a cool fact!Heard first time only because of Byju’s


March 2, 2020 also inspired me to work on these things

Aryan Raj

March 2, 2020

Knowledge is power!!!
Thank you Byju!!For upgrade knowledge


March 2, 2020 also inspired me to work on some this remote.even simplest things


March 2, 2020

It is interesting. I have learnt a new thing.

Harkawal singh

March 2, 2020

It is cool and intresting


March 2, 2020

It is nice and also intresting I like it


March 2, 2020

Yo it’s something new thing I get to know today

S kareemulla

March 2, 2020

Is there any future advanced remote control ?


March 2, 2020



March 2, 2020

Good information source


March 2, 2020

the information was useful .I never knew this information before. Thank you

Mithun Raj .P

March 2, 2020



March 2, 2020



March 2, 2020

Cool!!it’s interesting

Abhinav Gupta

March 2, 2020

Interesting thing about remote

Mandeep kaur

March 2, 2020

Interesting …. got to know many things about remote’s evolution and liked it very much


March 2, 2020

Wow I am amazed ?

Tushar Gautam

March 2, 2020

Knowledgeable and interesting

Nehal surve

March 2, 2020



March 2, 2020

Very informative

Shivansh Mishra

March 2, 2020

Please do also give articles on the history of programming languages.


March 2, 2020

It’s really useful … Thank you !!


March 2, 2020

Thank you for your information about remote control.


March 2, 2020

Wowwwww I didn’t knew that this was the history of remote control machines. Thanks to byjus for this
information ??????

saziya bano

March 2, 2020

interesting….thnk uhh Byjus

Dikshit Rishi Jain

March 2, 2020

The next type of remote controls to be in the form voice controllable and gesture controllable…


March 2, 2020

Remotes also have a revolution. Intresting!

Anik Chowdhury

March 2, 2020

Lots of knowledge and much more fun thank you byjus.


March 2, 2020



March 2, 2020

Thank u byjus for this information


March 2, 2020

Very informative…thank you byjus


March 2, 2020

Very informative…

Tarun Ramesh

March 2, 2020

Thanks for the knowledge


March 2, 2020

This is very interesting idea. Thanks for giving lots of studies. This is a remote control which is from early year 1930 up to the later year 1980. Byjus is a very interesting app. I like it very much. Thank you


March 2, 2020


Syed Shumail Ali

March 2, 2020



March 2, 2020

Nice and good


March 2, 2020

Very interesting ! Thank you byjus


March 2, 2020


Abhinash Mohanta

March 2, 2020

Wonderful innovation by humans.


March 2, 2020

The latest remote control seems to be the same technology used in philco mystery control. Only the size has changed and hence the portability and handling. Isn’t it?


March 2, 2020

Nice and Interesting ☺☺?


March 2, 2020

Wow!!!so intresting.Thank you byju’s


March 2, 2020

Awesome. Thanks Byju ??

Sanskriti dewangan

March 2, 2020

Interesting ?


March 2, 2020

It was interesting and has lots of knowledge

Akansha nagae

March 2, 2020



March 2, 2020


Divyam Giri

March 2, 2020

Superb, This will help me to increase my knowledge


March 2, 2020


Samadrita sen

March 1, 2020

Lots of knowledge..


March 1, 2020


Never thought that even the remote was a revolution.

It is sooo easy !

Thank you byju !????


February 29, 2020



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