Tuesday, August 1, 2023

"Old School" Exhibit Inspiration

A friend recently shared this super cool article about the development of the "Zenith Space Command" television remote control (pictured at the top of this post.)

Unlike modern remote control units that use infrared light, the Space Command did not even need batteries to function! 

Instead, when you clicked a button on this "old school" remote, a little hammer struck a tuned aluminum rod that created a slight audible click, but that also sent out an ultrasound tone to the receiver unit inside the television that controlled functions like volume and changing channels!

(You can see the operation of a typical Zenith Space Command remote by watching this YouTube video.  Below is an image from that same video giving an end-on view of the metal rods inside the remote's case.)

Since we so often default to digital or electronic solutions to exhibit design challenges, the Space Command is a reminder that often ingenious mechanical or analog exhibit design solutions await.

Here's to "Old School" Exhibit Inspiration!

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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