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Philips gets touchy about remote control buttons

Philips gets touchy about remo...
An IR remote control prototype with RevoTouch technology that turns the circular directional and OK buttons acting into a touchpad
An IR remote control prototype with RevoTouch technology that turns the circular directional and OK buttons acting into a touchpad
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An IR remote control prototype with RevoTouch technology that turns the circular directional and OK buttons acting into a touchpad
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An IR remote control prototype with RevoTouch technology that turns the circular directional and OK buttons acting into a touchpad
Philips' RevoTouch allows the directional pad and OK button to act as a touchpad
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Philips' RevoTouch allows the directional pad and OK button to act as a touchpad
Philips' RevoTouch can be integrated into a variety of form factors
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Philips' RevoTouch can be integrated into a variety of form factors
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Even before the addition of touchpads, remote controls were pushing the boundaries in terms of size as more and more features were crammed into home entertainment devices and more and more buttons were needed to deal with them. Philips’ remote control division has come up with a way to keep the size of touch-capable remotes down by making the buttons touch sensitive.

Philips calls its new technology RevoTouch (short for revolutionary touch), and has been demonstrating it at IBC 2013. Unlike traditional remote control touchpads, the RevoTouch technology doesn't require a stiff flat area dedicated to only one purpose because it allows rubber and plastic buttons to become touch sensitive. This gives the remote swipe and cursor control capabilities, while retaining the familiarity of conventional button presses.

Philips' RevoTouch allows the directional pad and OK button to act as a touchpad
Philips' RevoTouch allows the directional pad and OK button to act as a touchpad

RevoTouch comes out of Philips Home Control, an independent unit within Philips that was established in 1991 to fill the company’s remote control requirements – something that was previously handled independently by each department. Initially, around 95 percent of the remotes the division produced were for Philips, with the remainder going to OEMs and cable and satellite TV providers. Those figures have now been reversed, with business-to-business customers now accounting for the bulk of the company’s 70 million remotes a year business.

These customers are able to define the touch sensitive area, with anything from a single button to the entire face of the remote possible. RevoTouch can also be combined with voice and/or motion control capabilities and Philips has developed prototypes that work via either infrared (IR) or radio frequency (RF).

Philips is currently working on implementing the RevoTouch technology into various remotes that will probably be on the market within the next year – even if the majority of them aren’t emblazoned with the Philips logo.

Source: Philips Home Control

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3 comments
BZD
Sounds clever but considering a remote is often used without looking at it or perhaps even low light conditions. This might be better than a remote with a touch pad but I think it could easily turn out to be confusing rather than helpful. Still it is great there is new ideas
What we need are remotes that are as ergonomic and nicely made as those from B&O. I mean even buying a high end TV from a big brand the included remote feels like it was made to come with a $100 TV set meaning operating the TV has the quality feel of assembling a Happy Meal toy.
Threesixty
The article does not make it clear whether this is a touch screen, rubber buttons, or both. Touch screens belong with small screens. Remotes need small screens, and touch screens offer infinite customization.
bergamot69
Agree with BZD re the problems with operating the remote in poor light.
Problem is, manufacturers tend to put far too many functions onto the remote rather than the appliance itself- which usually has far more space for buttons, and too many buttons control functions that virtually no-one will ever use. My DVD remote has the 'chapter repeat' button right above the pause button (no buttons are backlit on my remote) so I am forever having to reload the DVD in order to get to the following chapter.
Rather than adding extra input controls via touch-screen, rubber buttons or whatever, why not use a sliding panel with the major functions on top, with the minor (or in most cases, never used) buttons underneath?