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inventions change family dynamics

A simple invention that remarkably changed family dynamics

Inventions can change us in unexpected ways

A humble invention that changed the way we relate to our family

Innovation does not only change how people interact with their environment, but can also alter routine behaviours. This change even extends to how the family unit interacts with one another.  One simple invention that has radically changed family dynamics, and had an enormous impact on the way people relate to each other is the humble remote control. Until recently home automation was only found in the pages of books and movies set in the future. Do you remember the days before remote controls were commonplace?  Family arguments about getting up to change the TV channel, or to switch lights on or off were very frequent. The one who had the most energy or power got to watch what they wanted on TV. The rest of the family slumped on the couch in resigned silence, weighed down by inertia or inferior status.

How the remote control changed the power structure of the family

The remote control was actually invented far back in 1898. Nicolas Tesla, which he first demonstrated by using it to steer a radio-wave controlled toy boat that could receive a single signal. Over the next century, remote control development spread to many parts of the technological world. By the 1980s, a large number of homes had remote controls for many different appliances cluttering up their coffee-tables. The member of the family who knew which remote control each device, and held the right remote to change the TV channel in their hands, still held the power over appliances.

With the advent of smart phones and tablets, innovators quickly understood the power having of a single touch-screen to drive appliances in the home environment.  From this point on, the market for remotely controlled electrical appliances in the home exploded. The control of the home environment belonged to the owner of the smart-phone. This still left the other family members still lounging discontentedly on the sofa.

The dawn of a new age with voice control

We are now in the dawn of a new technological age for remote control; the time of voice control for appliances is becoming more and more common in the home. One smart assistant who hears and understands the human voice can control lighting, heating, blinds, coffee-makers, and so much more.  There is no longer any need to search through a jumble of small, black, button-covered boxes to change the environment around you. Just speak from anywhere in the room, and your command will be carried out.  This new wave of innovation also brings with it a new cultural revolution in the family unit. Since any member of the family can talk to the smart home assistant, including the 3-year-old who demands infinite Peppa Pig reruns and wants the living room constantly bathed in blue light, family power is becoming less hierarchical and more evenly balanced.  

A single idea invented to reduce the need to move has revolutionized the way we interact with our surroundings, and members of our family. The simple invention of the remote control has changed family dynamics. Voice control of smart appliances is more than just a gadget; it is the wave of the future that will positively change our behaviour and relations with our loved ones.