A Few Clicks Away from a Universal Remote

In the 2006 movie “Click,” Adam Sandler receives a universal remote control that will, as Christopher Walken’s kooky character puts it, “control your universe!” The movie’s no classic (it’s not even one of Sandler’s better movies), but we can all relate—who wouldn’t like to fast forward through a long meeting, rewind hastily spoken words, or use closed captions to get through Spanish class? We’d all like to control our respective worlds.

Your Own Universal Remote

The truth is, we’re not that far off. We have unimaginable power at our fingertips. Just imagine what a person from the early 1900s would think if you demonstrated the features of your smartphone to them—it would be indistinguishable from magic. We can summon music, videos, and even knowledge on command, connect to people all over the world, or waste hours ogling pictures of cats who look like Hitler. We’re plugged into the Cloud—try explaining that to even your grandparents!

Smartphones are becoming the universal remote for everything that we do—take cars for example. Now, they’re designed to synchronize with smartphones, channeling music, phone calls, and other features. GM started a trend of cars that could be remotely started by smartphones. And smart homes offer even more options: turn lights on and off, adjust the thermostat, detect break-ins, monitor security camera feeds, and so on—from wherever you and your smartphone may be. And, of course, you can use it as a TV remote with products like AppleTV.

New Frontiers for Smartphones

Even our bodies are a frontier for smartphone technology. Health companies realize that, given the right sensors, a Smartphone can be a health monitor for all sorts of conditions. For example, iHealth just debuted a wireless blood glucose meter for diabetics. Other companies, including Nike and FitBit, have accessories for monitoring sleep patterns, exercise, and more. One company, AliveCor, decided to make use of phone cases—they empowered theirs with the ability to record electrocardiograms. It’s not difficult to imagine a future where our smartphones become our emergency first responders.

Alright, so you still can’t hit “Fast-Forward” at the DMV or “Pause” during that kiss, but your personal “universal remote” can control quite a lot of your world, and more of it every day. Smartphone technology isn’t slowing down—it’s accelerating! So just imagine what they’ll be capable of in another 100 years. In our eyes…it will probably seem like magic.

photo credit: Ben McLeod via photopin cc


Brent Urmey is an avid reader and writer on a variety of subjects, including social media, SEO, the Wireless industry, and life in Lancaster County, PA. He is a graduate of Drexel University and a survivor of the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse. You can connect with Brent on Google +.