From A Remote Control To A Magic Wand

When I think of a magic wand I think of wizards, witches, fairies and magicians and casting magic spells. Just think what fun it would be to own a working wand and magic away life’s problems. Even better if you could make everything around you happy and turn anyone into a toad that tries to spoil things!

Unfortunately we don’t all get what we want in life, but with the way technology is progressing you never know. I can remember the days before microwaves and computers were invented, now I’m lost without a microwave and computers have become so important in my life that I need to own  a laptop as well as a desktop and now I’m thinking of a smaller netbook for travel.

I can remember when a 2 television household was something to brag about but owning 2 computers is quite normal in this day and age. Amazing when just 50 years ago most households didn’t even have a television and when they did it was black and white.

After the spread of televisions into most households and more channels came remote controls. They became popular because people were too lazy to get up and turn the television on, off or switch channels, though they advanced quickly from the original TV remote invented in 1952which was called ‘Lazy Bones’.  That early remote was attached to the TV set with a long cable and a motor turned the tuner.

Then the Flash-o-matic was invented in 1955. It worked by aiming a flashlight at the 4 corners of your TV, each of which had a light sensitive cell and a different function. You could turn on, off, change channel and turn the sound up and down, but so could sunlight so that idea was scrapped.

In 1957 – and this was before Starwars – the Zenith ‘Space Command’ was invented. This was a wireless remote control that used ultrasonic waves to function. Trouble with that idea was that metal could also sometimes affect televisions. I honestly thought I had a ghost in my house at one point because my TV set kept switching itself on and off, and then I realised that it was my dog and the metal bits in her collar moving in front of the TV. Apparantly the high frequencies made dogs bark too but mine barked a lot anyway.

Another 20 years went by before the infrared remote control was invented and that was something else. A button for every function, in fact so many buttons that it can be quite a learning curve. Great, but somewhere along the way video recorders were invented and we lazy people needed a remote for that. Then digital boxes and video game consoles that you can use with your TV, then music centres with remotes.

That’s when it got really confusing. You enter any normal household and find several different remote controls waiting there to baffle you. I babysit my grandkids and when they ask me to turn the TV on or their games console I go blank. Which one is it I wonder as I peer at them all. Fortunately the 5 year old has a better idea than me.

Now I see they’ve invented magic wand remote controls. Swish them, tap them whatever and you can control anything that has a remote. So far they only have enough functions to control 2 devices but for me that’s enough!

With it being hard to find just right gifts for men I’m pretty sure that these magic wand remotes will be winners. Men love to control the television, enter any household and you usually see the remotes close to where the man of the house is sitting, that’s if they are not hidden so that nobody else can switch programmes. I’m going to get one for my son in law for next Christmas, can’t wait to see my grandkids faces when their dad performs some magic. Might even get one for myself, I love gadgets!