Robert Adler, who co-invented the television remote control, has died at the age of 93.
Adler won an Emmy Award along with colleague Eugene Polley for the remote control – one of a massive 180 US patents he filed during his 60-year career with Zenith Electronics.
in 1955 Polley had invented the Flashmatic, a wireless remote control that operated on photo cells; the following year Adler introduced ultrasonics, or high-frequency sound, to make thedevice more efficient.
It was this Zenith Space Command remore control that has been credited with making television viewing a purely sedentary pasttime.
Adler had a doctorate in physics from the University of Vienna and joined Zenith's research division in 194, initially working on military communications equipment.
He later helped develop sensitive amplifiers for ultra high frequency signals used by radio astronomers and by the US Air Force for long-range missile detection.
Adler was considered a pioneer in SAW technology, or surface acoustic waves, in colour television sets and touch screens. The technology has also been used in cellular telephones.
He retired as research vice-president at Zenith in 1979, but served as a technical consultant until 1999, when Zenith merged with LG Electronics.
His most recent patent application, for advances in touch screen technology, was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office in February.