On May 20, 2012 at the age of 96 years the well-known engineer Eugene Polly, the inventor of the first-ever wireless television panel died. Worked as Polly within 47 years in the Zenith Electronics company and made a huge contribution to development of television technologies.
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Eugene Polly invented a first-ever television remote control in 1955. The outstanding engineer since 1935 worked in the Zenith Radio company and patented in total 18 own inventions, but the DU panel became the most known of them. The panel was called as Flash-matic and represented the wireless device superficially resembling the hair dryer or the toy gun and using visible light beams. The ray of light needed to be directed on the photosensitive elements which are on TV screen corners.
Flash-matic allowed to change channels, and also to switch on and off the TV, in the founder assured that with his help it is possible even "to muffle the irritating advertizing". For the first year of existence about 30 000 such panels were sold out. However Flash-matic was inconvenient and unreliable as could function only in the conditions of good illumination. Besides, users were irritated by need to remember, each corner of the screen is responsible for what function. Therefore the device needed completion. Soon the panels using sound signals, later – working at radio waves came to the market. Only in the eighties there were panels which use to this day, – with an infrared radiation.
To creation of the panel of Polly burning hatred to advertizing induced. However with the advent of the invention advertisers simply changed methods of creation and advertizing. Shortly it led to the birth of such phenomenon, as "zapping" (English Zapping). The Zapping – frequent switching of channels of the TV. According to psychologists the zapping can testify both to scattered attention, and to obsessional neurosis.
In 1997 Polly and his colleague on Zenith Electronics Robert Adler received a prestigious award of Emmy of the American academy of television arts and sciences.