When the remote control replaced young children as the device for switching channels on your TV, the world changed.
The remote, it can be argued, brought the baby boom of the fifties and sixties to an end.
There was simply no need for little kids any more.
In fact, they made things worse, because instead of being stationed beside the TV ready for a quick change, they were liberated to become actively involved in viewing, adding critical comments and even demanding a channel switch.
But only one person could hold the remote.
Control of the family living room is now close to another tipping point, equally as far reaching as those days before the remote control.
We're talking Internet TV: the idea is mind-blowing, but the practicalities can be limiting.
A new company called Kannuu has just launched an innovative missing software link when it comes to Internet TV.
It uses existing technology to make searching for television shows and films achievable on a standard infrared remote control, using the directional pad in the middle.
Some might say that the current type of remote will soon be replaced altogether, by gesture or voice or some unforeseen system.
But, as a bloke, this kind of talk makes me slightly nervous, even nauseous.
So here's why I think it is well worth going down the road of helping our current version of the remote to survive.
Anyone who has tried internet services such as blinkbox, Netflix and LOVEFiLM on a TV will tell you that to find a movie or a show, you have to scroll through endless lists of irrelevant content.
Or if there is a search capability, chances are it's that tiring on-screen keyboard exercise that forces you to move back and forth to each letter to enter your search request --- left-left-up "T" down-right-right-right "O"..... After five minutes of that, you feel like you are self-harming.
And it's not like channel surfing, because none of the content is playing as you scroll through it.
But Kannuu has found a way of linking a powerful auto-suggest search to the D-pad buttons on your remote, so you get four suggestions for your next entry, one for each direction button.
And within very few clicks, you have found not just what you are looking for, but other related content as well. It also works on your iPad, iphone or Samsung Galaxy if you are using those as remotes.
We're now at the same stage as TV companies were in the 1950s: "Sure we want to start our own station, but who is going to get up off their couch, walk over to the TV and press 891 for 'When Coffee Machines Turn Bad, especially when you have Espresso Bongo Carnage way before that on channel 561'?"
Back then, without a remote, channel choice and discoverability were kept in a fine balance, allowing support for an ecosystem of four channels max.
There seems no point in pumping out TV programming via the Internet, if it can't be discovered easily on Internet TVs.
To take full advantage of Internet TV, we need to make it as simple to search for movies and shows as it is to channel surf on our flat screen digitals, Sky satellite and Virgin TV.
And that's where Kannuu has scored big. Its system is already being used by Telstra in Australia and the firm is believed to be in talks with Samsung and Sky.
At present, TV manufacturers are starting to offer gesture control and voice control.
It also might be possible to have some kind of onscreen virtual keyboard operated by gesture via a Kinect-style device.
All sound great, don't they? Up to a point.
Except that anyone used to wielding control via existing remotes HATES THEM.
They might experiment with gesture and voice while everyone else in the house is out, if only to establish expertise if these alternatives somehow became compulsory.
But do you think they would actually risk letting anyone else try them during real-time TV viewing.
No! If more than one person gets involved with gesturing or voice controlling the living room TV, we are surely headed for anarchy. Besides recent customer reactions and feedback to TV voice and gesture controls have been lukewarm at best.
And anyone who has tried Siri knows how rubbish voice control can be. Plus you wouldn't dare shout at the TV during a football match, in case it switches you over to basket weaving on channel 632.
And, using a keyboard with a TV? How can you hold a beer or slice of pizza while you're using that? Besides, using a keyboard is too much like being at work.
And worst of all, from any man's perspective, women are much better on keyboards.
But the Kannuu system uses its "train of thought" feature to be your sixth sense guide to what you are looking for.
It's so refreshing to see that Kannuu has shown our cherished remote control some respect and come to its aid. Because many seem to take it for granted that it is on the way out. Kannuu are also launching cool smart apps which allow you to use your smartphone or tablet as well, keeping up with the trend of the next generation of remotes.
The remote control device shaped not just our viewing habits, but the approach taken by broadcasters. Before the remote, it was easier to give TV shows and adverts the benefit of the doubt.
Programme makers didn't need to ask "is this compelling TV", simply "is this bad enough to force viewers to get out of their seats and turn over?"
The best shows were at family viewing times, because astute programme makers knew that in every home, a small child was on stand-by to switch channels.
In America, the remote control changed the commercial break so that there was a much smaller one between shows and more in the middle of them, to reduce the risk of viewers trying another network.
So if you asked what came first, television or the remote control? The answer has to be the remote, or clicker, or zapper, which started as a wired TV accessory in 1950 called the Lazy Bones.
In 1955 a wireless version came in using light from the remote hitting a photoelectric cell. It was fiddly, you had to be very accurate.
Ultrasound came in 1956 but you could sometimes hear the signals, and others discarded it in rage when small children found they could change channels using a xylophone.
It wasn't until the 1980s that the infrared took hold and our viewing habits changed forever. Without it there could have been no Sky TV or Sky Box, held by many to be the greatest invention. Ever.
So, the challenge has to be to improve existing technology and adapt it for Internet TV.
And Kannuu look like they might just have cracked it with a timely solution.
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