TV remote inventor Robert Adler passes away

MUMBAI: Robert Adler, co-inventor of the TV remote, has passed away.

Adler, who won an Emmy Award along with fellow engineer Eugene Polley for the device that made the couch potato possible, died a few days ago of heart failure at a Boise nursing home at the age of 93

His developments spanned from the Golden Age of Television into the High-Definition Era, earning him more than 180 US patents. The US Patent and Trademark Office published his most recent patent application, for advances in touch-screen technology, on 1 February 2007.

His six-decade career with Zenith Electronics Corporation began in 1941 when he joined Zenith's research division. He was named associate director in 1952, vice president in 1959, and vice president and director of research in 1963. He retired as research vice president in 1979, and served Zenith as a technical consultant until 1999, when Zenith merged with LG Electronics.

In the consumer electronics field, Dr. Adler has been widely recognised as the co-inventor (with fellow Zenith engineer Eugene Polley) of the wireless TV remote. Dr. Adler's 'Space Command' ultrasonic remote control for TV sets was introduced by Zenith in 1956. He received the 1958 Outstanding Technical Achievement Award of the Institute of Radio Engineers (now the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE) for his "original work on ultrasonic remote controls" for television state media reports.

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