Inventor of the TV remote control Eugene Polley dies aged 96

(Credit: AP)

Eugene Polley, the inventor of the TV remote control, has died at the age of 96.

Eugene Polley’s former employer Zenith Electronics announced that he died of natural causes on Sunday at a Chicago hospital.

In 1955 he invented the Flash-Matic, which shot a beam of light at photo cells placed on each corner of a TV screen allowing it to change channels as well as turning it on and off.

The original Flash-Matic (Credit: AP)Zenith spokesman John Taylor said, “He was a proud owner of a flat-screen TV and modern remote. He always kept his original remote control with him."

Prior to his invention a remote control wired to the TV set was the norm.

Sonic-controlled, infrared and radio frequency remotes followed the Flash-Matic.

Born in Chicago in 1915, Polley was an engineer his entire life, earning himself 18 US patents during his 47 years working at Zenith.

He was honoured with an Emmy for his work in 1997.