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Electrical Engineering/Remote control device for Laptops and Desktop computers.


QUESTION: Dear Cleggsan

1. Can a remote control device be built for Laptops and Desktops ?. i.e. Is it technically feasible to built a remote control device similar to a Television set remote control ?.

The remote control device will have functions such as power on/off the laptop, desktop devices, reset, restart/reboot, shutdown, accessing BIOS Setup program, accessing specific applications/programs etc.

2. Do you feel a remote control device for Laptops, Desktop computers if designed and manufactured can be useful to the consumer market ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: 2.  No, I do not think a remote control of the type you are thinking (IR) would be useful.  There are ways to control it through the wi-fi link to other computers.  As on now, a handheld smartphone or tablet can control a remote pc through many software linkages and synchronizing programs available in the marketplace today.

See here:

and there are similar apps that work for Android platform devices.

Some very low cost android based phones and tablets are no more expensive than the cost of a fully developed IR based remote control.

1.  For basic functions it could be a simple matter but the pc/laptop must have an IR receiver.  If you are thinking of using wi-fi then look at 2. above.

For a more sophisticated remote to cover items in your second paragraph then item 2. above is better solution, perhaps.

Have a good day!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Cleggsan

Thank you.

1. Do you feel such a remote control device can be manufactured for all desktops and laptops running different Operating Systems viz Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac Os, Sun Solaris, Linux, IBM AIX, IBM Os/2, HP UX etc ?

2. The Remote control will be a combination/integrated device of wireless keyboard and wireless mouse functionality will have push buttons similar to a TV Remote control device. The Device will have a Trackball mouse integration. The Remote control device will work on infrared technology. Instead of a Flat Horizontal Keyboard interface the remote control device will be vertical rectangle screen similar to a TV Remote control device.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

If the remote transmission is via IR then the pc must have an IR receiver.  If the remote is required to have two-way transmission  (With alternate OS you may need a very large library in the remote handset - or two-way communication so the intelligent remote can call the identity of the OS for proper protocol assignments in establishing command codes) then the IR must be transmit/receive which drives up cost.

As before, an android small size handheld smartphone could be modified for this functionality I suppose.

It seems a large development project would be essential for an all encompassing software to 'talk' to such a diverse set of OS platforms.  It may be a formidable project!

All the best to you.  

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