As you may have seen by now, this is supposedly the remote control that Sony will offer for its new TV sets with Google TV software built-in. This via a sneak peek on Nightline; more details here at Engadget.We don’t mean to be rude, but this is NOT the future of the remote control. This looks like something out of a Sharper Image catalogue from the 1980s, not something that Google and Sony should be bragging about.
Did Sony (and Google, if it was involved in designing this at all) learn nothing from the Nintendo Wii or Apple’s iPhone?
Buttons are so last century. If Sony and Google are really building a TV set for the future, the remote should be forward-thinking, too.
Instead of all those buttons, the remote could be a wand (like the Wii controller) that lets you select big, bright, clear choices on your hi-definition TV screen. Sony has already licensed this remote technology from Hillcrest Labs (maybe the wrong division of Sony?) so we’re puzzled as to why they aren’t implementing it. Maybe the Google software wouldn’t support it?
But Google has already announced that Google TV will also support remote-control apps for mobile phones (at least for Android-based phones), so an iPod touch-like device — more cheaply made, of course — could have also been a much more interesting remote control. With only the relevant software-based buttons showing up on the touchscreen at once, it could be smaller, better, and more elegant.
To be sure, perhaps that stuff is too expensive to use as the default remote, and will be offered as premium add-ons. Perhaps the Intel chip that Google TV requires is already pushing the price of these new Sony TVs through the roof, and they couldn’t afford to jack it up even higher with a more interesting remote.
But this thing still looks comical.
It sort of reminds us of the fake rotary iPod phone that Steve Jobs used as a gag when first unveiling the iPhone in 2007: