Eugene Polley, inventor of the first wireless channel changer, a precursor to the remote control that surfers use to navigate the 500-plus channels offered by modern television, has died. He was 96.
Polley died Sunday at a hospital in Downers Grove, Illinois, according to Zenith Electronics, where he worked from 1935 to 1982. For years after Polley's Flash-Matic debuted in 1955, it was considered a luxury option. Its ascendancy is tied to the explosion of cable television, said a spokesman for Zenith.