At CES this year Motorola announced a new rechargeable IPTV remote control complete with “find” feature, USB port, and digital clock. Now there’s word that Motorola is tinkering further with the gadget to add Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony. Todd Spangler at Multichannel News got the scoop, including this quote from product manager Mostafa Reza:
If I had to put VoIP into the set-top box, the cost would be so astronomical nobody would want to add that… But I can add that into the remote pretty cost-effectively.
There is still a lot of room for growth in the remote control market, in my opinion, though few have been successful at figuring out exactly what consumers want in their TV controller. Adding voice seems like a simple way to converge two living room devices into one, with the added benefit that now the “phone” can be found between the couch cushions with a simple push of a base station button.