Father of the remote control passes away and videoconferencing
A colleague of mine sent an internal email to the entire company with the announcement that Eugene Polley had passed away at 96 years of age. Who was Mr. Polley? Eugene Polley was employed at Zenith Electronics in Chicago, Ill. and in 1955 he invented the remote (wireless) control for the Zenith Television Brand. Then called "Flash-matic" the impact of his invention is not widely recognized as a "game changer" but it clearly is.
Mr.Polley´s invention was so revolutionary and well meant more to dad´s across the world than just allowing those same dad´s to sit in their couch and change channels but it changed an industry and gave birth to new industries. This invention is credited to the creation of the TV and viewer user experience we have now - dozens if not hundreds of channels and of course the "mute" button which was designed to allow the user experience to be optimized by "muting" commercials (already in the 1950s) with a click of a button.
In the videoconferencing industry the remote control at first was to be as sleek as possible with as many buttons as possible. To show that the buyer had made "thee" right investent. Then cheaper personal systems in the past 2-3 years have been rolled out and to cut costs many of the buttons were eliminated and even "cheapified" if I may use an "Evan term". This showed "value" but neither have lead to an explosion in sales in the videoconferencing industry.
The remote drove an immediate push to buy the "user experience" of the Zenith brand and soon after every television manufacturer added this to their offering also known as the "me 2" strategy. Change later came not from the television manufacturers like Zenith but from the service providers or as we better know them the "television" service providers and later cable and satellite TV providers by offer bundled packages with remotes, dishes, and well everything needed to watch whatever they were showing.
The videoconferencing industry is now being driven to change again by those outside of the industry. Yes there are those in the industry that have left Cisco, Tandberg and company XXX but they have basically re-packaged what they had been selling and called it something new but still utilizing the old "sales" methods. Technology, technology, technology...
Change in our industry is coming from the outside. Cloud Services providers like easymeeting.net are changing the way we communicate and to an extent communicate. There dozens if not hundreds of providers out there and the important thing for the potential user is... are they communicating to you and do they understand your needs?
Well the remote control itself is being challenged with touch screens and voice activation / presence detection entering the playing field but it will take time for these "added values" to change the user habits and in the end it will change but because of someone not currently in the "remote control" or display/screen business.
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