Eugene Polley's 'Zenith Flash Matic' was the world's first ever remote control. Source: AP

By Samuel Gates


Remote control inventor, Eugene Polley has switched off for the last time, passing away at age 96, leaving a formidable technology legacy in his wake.

CEO of the New York based Technology Company, Envisioneering, Richard Doherty told AP that Polley’s invention was an opening for vast possibilities.

“Without his idea you might not have gotten to the Internet,” he said.

“It allowed you to go beyond the physical dial. It set the pace for dozens of follow on inventions that go beyond the physical.”

Polley invented the remote in 1955 for the Chicago based company, Zenith Electronics.

It was originally called the ‘Zenith Flash Matic’ and was shaped like a gun with a red trigger that pointed a beam at the television. This magical gun could change the channel and turn the TV and sound off and on.

Polley’s invention arguably set the technology industry free from relying on knobs and buttons in order to develop mobile technology.

Polley also worked on Radar technology with the US Military during WW2 and helped develop the push button radio for cars and creating the videodisk.

He passed away from natural causes in a suburban Chicago hospital on Sunday.

TV watchers can forever be grateful.

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