The problem with infrared remote controls is that you have to point it directly at the receiver, within a set distance, and within the same room. A consortium of  consumer electronic companies are looking to replace IR technology as they finalize a set of standards to use radio frequency (RF) technology instead.

This ZigBee RF4CE specification is expected to be available to members this summer with RF-based remotes becoming the new standard in early 2010.

Benefits of RF-based remotes:

  • Faster: 20 times faster in terms of response time than infrared remotes.¬†
  • Omnidirectional: No more point and shoot. Use the remote from anywhere.
  • Two way communication: Get rid of device loneliness. Have your TV talk to the remote, instead of just the remote barking instructions at the TV.
  • Greater power efficiency: Longer battery life than infrared versions. Run a RF remote for several years on a set of new batteries instead of having to change them at least every year.¬†
  • Interoperability: Between remote control and audio/video devices that infrared remotes do not provide.