The new Roku remote has a button you can customize to open your favorite show or skip to the next episode of your binge-watch. But the savvy tinkerer can do much more with their TV remote.
Indeed, an exploit allowing attackers to snoop on private conversations using their victims’ TV remotes is scary. But it’s also essential to put this attack into perspective.
Turn Your TV Remote Into a Light Switch
Many light switches work on radio frequencies or infrared technology, and these kinds of remotes can do many things that traditional remotes can’t. You can even find remote lighting controls that connect with your phone and other smart devices.
This TikTok user shared a super easy hack to ensure you never misplace your TV remote again. All you need is a piece of string and the remote itself. Just glue one end of the string to the remote and then clip it to a chair or sofa.
Remember that old TV show where people communicated with flashes of light? That was Morse code, which works similarly to how a TV remote sends signals. Using the same principle, you can make a keyboard that uses your remote to perform simple commands, like select all, copy and paste, and even open and close tabs.
Turn Your TV Remote Into a Magic Wand
If you’ve ever wanted to wave your TV remote like a wizard and watch it change channels or turn up the music, this is the hack for you. All you need is an Arduino micro, an IR receiver, and jumper wires.
Once you’ve programmed your wand to make the desired gestures, you can test it by pointing it toward your TV or music player. When it works, you’ll feel it pulse quite challenging twice, which means it has learned the IR codes for your chosen gestures.
We’ve seen a lot of people trying to make their TV remotes more excellent, from outfitting them with touch screens to turning them into paper airplane controllers, but this might be the most incredible hack yet. You can now transform your remote into the wand from Hogwarts, complete with a holographic display.
Turn Your TV Remote Into a Paper Airplane Controller
IR (infrared) remotes use a transmitter and receiver to send light pulses to the device you want to control. The device then executes the command based on its code. This process is only effective if the remote has a clear line of sight to the device.
If you have kids, they may love to make a paper airplane. So why not repurpose an old TV remote to turn it into a plane controller? This fun DIY project can be done with just a few simple materials.
The hack is simple and inexpensive. You will need a clothes peg bag, a metal hanging clip, and a throw you already own. This way, you will never lose your remote again!
Turn Your TV Remote Into a Music Controller
Unlike older remotes that communicate with the TV through infrared light pulses, modern ones use radio waves to send codes. Those radio signals can be picked up by Bluetooth devices like speakers and headphones, which is why you could use your TV remote to control the music playing on your phone or tablet.
It is hard to imagine your TV remote eavesdropping on you, but cybersecurity researchers have proved it can happen.