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Eugene Polley dies at 96; inventor of wireless TV remote control
Eugene Polley dies at 96; inventor of wireless TV remote control

Eugene Polley, inventor of the first wireless channel changer, a precursor to the remote control that surfers use to navigate the 500-plus channels offered by modern television, has died. He was 96. Polley died of natural causes Sunday at a hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., according to Zenith Electronics, where he worked from 1935 to 1982. Today's remote control is standard operating equipment. But for years after Polley's Flash-Matic debuted in 1955, it was considered a luxury option. Its ascendancy is tied to the explosion of cable television, said John Taylor, a spokesman for Zenith. "It's hard to even fathom the world today without the remote control," Taylor...

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