Remote controls are probably one of the most "used-less" gadgets in my house. I have a basketful of remotes that have not been touched for ages. The only remote that is constantly used is the one used for the plasma TV. Lying idle are the remotes for my DVD player, the Karaoke player, the pre-amp, plus those for many other appliances now long forgotten.
I have a gripe about remotes. Contrary to popular belief, they are not a convenience. The only thing it does is to shift work from one person to another. The person using it is often not the one who has to keep the remote after it is used, or to wipe it clean after it gets dusty. Therefore it only provides convenience for one person while inconveniencing another.
I do not see why we need to have a remote. The couch potato could use some exercise walking up to the TV to change channels. He could give some thought as to what he wants to watch. Life without a remote for every home entertainment unit is less complicated. Honestly, hasn't everyone have at least one exasperating moment when the remote could not be found? Or picked up the wrong remote and wondering why it doesn't work? Or run out battery? In my opinion, the usefulness of a remote is questionable.
Perhaps it is time for the remote to undergo a serious change. Every home entertinament unit should be fully operable without a remote (believe me, some don't). Also, all of them should come with a remote control app that can be installed on a smart phone. I don't want a universal remote that I have to learn how to program each time I buy a new gadget. I want a device-specific app that is ready to use as soon as it is installed.