“Some in the technology industry believe that a better alternative would be to simply replace the remote with smartphone apps like the one Mr. Lavoie uses. If you create a specialized smartphone app to control a TV or set-top box, you can pack the phone’s touch screen with virtual buttons in any configuration you like. […]
[Other] companies are not sold on the idea of the smartphone as the remote of the future. They are selling a range of remotes armed with full keyboards, touch screens and motion sensors.”
TV viewing habits are changing as more Internet and on-demand content — YouTube videos, streaming movies, shopping sites, Facebook photos — flows directly onto big screens, writes Joshua Brustein in the New York Times. Navigating all of that demands more action from the viewer, including a fair amount of typing, which current remotes cannot handle.