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Infrared is Dead, Why Would Samsung Put it in Their New Tablet?!

By Joe Levi August 16, 2012, 10:27 am
Why is Samsung including an infrared port on their new tablets?

Samsung is doing something right. They've reportedly sold 10 million Galaxy Notes worldwide. That's pretty noteworthy, if you'll pardon the pun.

Earlier today Michael Fisher gave us a hands-on with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, and it's shaping up to be quite a formidable device! Exynos quad-core 1.4? Check! 2GB RAM? Check! Infrared port: Check!

Wait, what?!

Didn't we just talk about IrDA? Isn't infrared dead? IR transfers are slow, unpredictable, and very limited by distance. We often reminisce about how you could really frustrate someone by simply bumping the table during an IR transfer — breaking the connection.


True, IR had some redeeming qualities: it was very low power, almost every device had an IR port, and other consumer electronics had IR ports, too.

What consumer electronics are you talking about, Joe?!

IR is all around us, we just don't think about it any more. Every television in the universe has an IR port on it (except Grandma's). Back in the day we could load up an app on our PDAs (that's what we called them back them) and control our TV from across the room! Why didn't someone else think of this?! Oh yeah, they did! Even back them televisions included a "remote control"... but controlling it with your PDA? That was just cool !

Today I can control my Nexus Q with my Android-powered phone or tablet. I can control my Google TV with any Android. I can even control YouTube with an app on my Android. Do I really need an IR port?

Apparently Samsung thinks so, they built one into their new tablets. Surely they have some wonderful, brilliant, ground-breaking purpose in mind, right?

Nope. What did they demo with that super-fancy IR port? You guessed it: a remote control for your TV.

Of course, I could be wrong. Samsung makes TVs, phones, tablets, toasters (okay, maybe not toasters), so they could have some magic "control your entire house" plan in store for us — as long as your house is powered by Samsung products. We'll see. In the meantime, welcome back, IR port. We didn't really miss you, but we're glad you got to see today's tech.

Image Credit: (cc) letloosethelambs


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