Over the past few months I’ve seen tons of speculation, demos, and implementations of companies building apps and technology to turn smartphones into remote controls. Now I get the vision, and yes, for some folks, this is going to be a wonderful marriage of technologies. But when I say “some” I mean few. I just don’t think people are really thinking it through in an actual home with real people.
Here’s what I think is going to happen:
- User downloads smart remote app to phone
- User manages to get said app working
- User controls TV with phone
- User is psyched, declares new configuration as “hella cool”
- One of the following occurs:
- Phone battery dies terribly rapidly due to persistent wifi connection.
- User takes remote control to bathroom during pivotal moment of show.
- Phone call during even more pivotal moment of show.
- User goes back to using regular, reliable remote.
Sounds great on paper, but I think it’s one of those problems that people aren’t going to typically face until they actually run into issues like I describe above. But once they do, the safe prediction I can make is they stop using it that way. For more, here are the 9 reasons a smart phone makes for a dumb remote, in my latest column at Crave on CNET.