Thursday, September 13, 2007

Imagination Engineering

Imagination Engineering

An Example

Creativity requires imagination. Children have a great imagination & if it can be tapped effectively - it will lead to fantastic innovations. Often as adults we have grown up to accept things as they are and rarely challenge the status quo. But children are not like that at all - they challenge the status quo all the time. Recently, I was observing my daughter play with a cell phone. I observed how she uses the cell phone & this gave me few ideas for improving the cell phone.

One of the common problem everyone faces atleast once a week is searching for the TV remote. Invariably we always misplace the TV remote and spend a good amount of time searching for it. This problem is so persuasive that people have comeup with various ideas to help them find their TV remote like extra attachments, tying up the remote with a wire etc. Hotel’s also have a problem of disappearing TV remotes too.

Recently my daughter could not find the TV remote, so she picked up the cell phone, pointed it towards the TV and tried to use it as remote (but in vain). But her curious experimentation led me to comeup with a creative idea - build an intelligent programmable remote controller into the cell phone. Today’s cell phone has all the components to make a TV remote - and all it takes is to write a program to make the cell phone learn how to control the TV/Stereo/DVD etc.

The cell phone can interact with the TV/DVD/Stereo and automatically learn how to work as a remote. This added feature will solve all the problems searching for TV remote, fighting for TV remote etc.


Zeshan said...

How do you explain the problems at hotels? Given that different TV may use different frequency etc; do you expect TV manufacturers to follow the same standards so that every cell phone user can flip through the channels without ever 'teaching' it? Even then I believe it will be too complex for most people to handle.

Won't it be easier to use the existing technology itself, albeit in a reverse manner? Instead of controlling TV through remote, can't we put a small buzzer in the remote that buzzes once the power button at the TV is pressed???

Anyway, nice post(s) though.

Ramki said...

Nice blog.

A couple of ways in which the TV remote problem has been handled.
- There was a patent on adding a small device to the remote which can be operated from the TV. So, you press this button on the TV and the remote starts beeping. Unfortunately this will most probably not be put to commercial use as implementing this might prove to be more expensive than the marginal utility that it will provide.
- Regarding the usage of cell phones as remotes: This also has been achieved using Nokia phones. I remember seeing ads for the same.

@Zeshan: I remember seeing something called "Universal remote" in shops in US. The name implies that it should work will all TV's. And this could imply that the remotes use the same frequency. This is just a guess.