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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Lamest invention ever

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 6:00 PM

I was flipping through the latest edition of TWICE (This Week In Consumer Electronics) today, and I stumbled across an ad for "The Voice of Freedom." Basically, RCA is claiming that they have “revolutionized the universal remote” by introducing the *next* generation remote by adding the perhaps the lamest feature ever---voice command! Now, I *probably* could have let this go, if it wasn't for the advertorial that plays when you go to the Web page. (I TRIED to embed the video here, but I just can't. So, if you want to watch it, head on over to www.rcaaccessories.com)

 

Now, RCA is claiming that this is the “easiest and most powerful voice control remote” probably because it is the ONLY voice control remote. Just like if you invented a rocket powered toilet it would be the easiest and most powerful rocket powered toilet. This is probably because during other remote control company’s R&D session, when the new guy piped up with, “Hey! I have an idea! Let’s add voice control!” the other people sitting at the table all started shelling him with hummus and scalding hot coffee.

 

The video shows a mid-30s, yuppy-ish looking lady sitting in her den/study programming the remote, because we know that when it comes to programming remote controls, women are the number 1 demographic. She is smiling and playfully grinning at the remote, like it just told her that it’s a doctor and thinks she’s funny. And while the remote is talking to her -- “For help programming your TV, press 1” – she is nodding and has her brow knit in focused attention like the remote is about to deliver some new 11th commandment.

 

The remote also happens to “manage those situations when using your hands isn’t the best idea.”  Now, RCA could have shown A LOT of situations where "using your hands isn't the best idea." A guy just stepping out of his rocket powered toilet, a couple in a carnal embrace, someone juggling chainsaws, Bobby Flay slow roasting Chaka meat. But what they show is this really douchey guy plowing through a bowl of BBQ chicken wings. Obviously this guy is living alone, eating yet another depressing dinner in front of his TV. So why bother with social niceties like napkins and cleaning your hands and face? Just shout at your remote. And since no one else is around to talk to, this remote also makes the perfect scapegoat to yell about your dead end job and commiserate on how you were really a somebody back in high school. (Just hope that you left the remote pointing towards the TV for all this hands-free action so the IR commands will actually work.) When he gets the TV to turn to channel 39, he smiles like he has just single-handedly capped BPs oil spill, and then realizes that there is no one around to give a big greasy high five to.

 

It’s also ideal for those who might have a touch of arthritis. As an example, they show an old lady chopping carrots with a big ass knife, which *kinda* seems a bit more arthritically challenging than pressing a button on a remote. It is also perfofect if you just love to multitask. I can't even begin to imagine all the extra things I could get done in my day if I didn't have to stop and press volume up like once an hour.

 

The ad ends with the TOTAL reason why this product sucks ass. A guy is in bed, you know, raucously laughing to some late night show while his wife is trying to sleep. So what does the heartless wench do? She rolls over, smiling and says, “TV OFF!” This is supposed to make me want this thing? Really, RCA?This makes me hate it! Seriously. If Dana could change all of my shows by shouting "Channel Up!" from the other room, I would probably just sit in a corner and cry. In fact, as it is, one of our most frequent conversations is "Can you turn that down?" and I answer "Um hmmm" and then wave the remote around a bit and say "Better?" If she could just SAY "Volume Down" this would totally upset the harmonic of our relationship. I'm not even sure that I would be considered the man of the house anymore. So, thanks, RCA!  FOR NOTHING!

 


Categories: June 2010, Electronics

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4 Comments

Reply Dana
10:34 PM on June 15, 2010 
If such a remote exists ? I beg you, RCA ? send it to me! VOLUME DOWN!
Reply John Sciacca
12:28 PM on June 16, 2010 
Dear RCA,
Please disregard this previous comment.
Regards,
John
(PS: Say hello to Satan for me during your next remote control brainstorming session!)
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