Step Away from the Remote Control

A recent study1 has found that remote controls are lost or misplaced more often than car keys, eyeglasses, small poodles, and great ideas for surveys. Tampa, Florida-based PRISM Sales International believes it has found a way to end the agony of the lost remote2 forever (or at least until the batteries in this new product run out).

For years, Inventor Howard Hoffman felt the pain of frequently being separated from his remote control. Even though he'd taken on the daunting task of micromanaging the location of the family's remote control while he was home, he was never quite able to develop a Yoda-like skill of controlling the location of the remote from a remote location (where he might be busy inventing something). Soon the infrared LED above his head - inventors always have some sort of light bulb above their head that lights up when they have an idea, don't they? - started emitting light, and the solution became obvious.

"Where's the Remote?" is his cleverly named device that is essentially an annoyingly anal retentive holder for your remote control. Compatible with most remote controls (yes, you supply the remote), the battery-operated cradle can be placed on any flat surface and monitors when your remote control is taken from it. After an appropriate period of time, if the remote control is not placed back in the holder, the device periodically asks "Where's the remote?", "Are you still using the remote?" and sometimes demands "Please put the remote back!" But there is a softer side - "Where's the Remote?" actually thanks you when you return the remote to its electronic guardian.

PRISM Sales says the device "adds humor to what is usually a very common household argument" and "put[s] the FUN into FUNctional."

Personally, I think it's more likely that it puts the ANNOY into ANNOYing, but that's because I have several remote controls and can't fathom the idea of multiple holders yelling "Please put the remote back!" (I have enough trouble ignoring the members of my family who take pleasure in yelling at me. I don't need to add to the cacophony.)

A device like this that monitors the location of your teenager might be a good thing, though. "Where's the teen?" and "Please put the teenager back!" could be a huge success.

1In truth, no such study was ever done, nor are the stated results in any way close to reality. The sad fact of the matter is that it was darn near impossible to find any kind of statistical analysis on how often remote controls are misplaced so I made this one up. There was a study comparing the number of times a remote control was chewed by the owner's dog versus the incidents of homework being eaten by the family's pooch. It turns out that the old excuse, "The dog ate my homework," is valid 6.5 times out of 10. (Okay, I made that up, too.)

2Rumor has it that ABC is working on a spinoff of the popular "CSI" franchise called "RCI (Remote Control Investigation): Home Theater". No word yet on when the new series might be airing.