It’s amazing how much technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Companies continually strive to outdo one another by bringing us the latest modern conveniences and seeking to create new and unique gizmos that we won’t want to live without. That said, there are times when we seem to rely on technology more than we need to, and when it feels like companies release new devices without much of a goal in mind besides trying to be different..

When the iPhone made its debut, I was thrilled to have my phone, music player, and camera combined in one device and have less to carry around. Yet when the much larger iPhone 6 came out last year, the only thought I could muster was that if I wanted to carry something that big in my pocket, I might as well just spring for an iPad Mini instead.

Now, Sony has released a new TV remote that packs in a full-size speaker and bevy of controls and buttons, and I find myself thinking along the same lines once again. While the technology is certainly impressive, it’s not entirely clear what inspired Sony to manufacture this device to begin with, and if comments by Japanese netizens are anything to go by, they seem to be just as divided as I am.

Aimed at the Japanese market, Sony says its SRS-LSR100 speaker remote control was developed to keep you tuned into the tube even when you’re not in the room to watch it, like when putting little ones to bed or doing household chores.


The remote receives wireless signals from a base station dock connected to the TV and has a battery life of 16 hours. Although the remote itself only weighs around 450 grams (1 lb), what it lacks in size it makes up for in price. Each unit will cost buyers 19,980 yen (slightly under US$170). It also doesn’t come with any other language instructions except Japanese.


Responses from Japanese consumers on the internet have been mixed. Those for the release have commented:

“Those guys into VR would definitely buy it, right?”
“It would be useful when watching TV with family members who are hard of hearing.”
“I’m interested in it.”
“It’s a good price and it’s convenient that it’s wireless. When I’m cooking I can’t hear the TV in the living room.”
“It has more appeal than the PS4.” (Ooh, burn!)

While others have shown little or no interest, saying:

“$160 lolol You could buy a tablet for that price lolol”
“Even if you factor in the design it’s way too much.”
“Any regular old speaker would do. A separate remote is easier to use.”
“No matter how you look at it, this was made for older people.”
“Audio Technica and Victor have already released something like this.”

I have to admit, I’m in the latter camp. It seems like it’d be more worthwhile to save yourself some money and purchase a radio or portable TV instead. After all, once you factor in the wireless dock it doesn’t seem any less space-saving.

Still, depending on how you feel about Japanese TV, it might be a nice edition to your arsenal of home electronics. For those interested, the new remote control will be available to take home from September 12.

Source: Hachima Kikou
Feature/top image: Sony
Insert images: Sony