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Built-in micro-printed instructions

Include instructions, along with a micro-print viewer, with a remote (or other product)
  [vote for,

Many universal remote controls all but require an instruction manual in order to be usable. Misplace the instruction manual and your remote is a $20 piece of useless plastic and circuitry.

My suggestion would be to include a micro-printed copy of the instruction sheet and a micro-print viewer; to see the instructions, the viewer looks through a cheap plastic lens while turning a knob to view the instructions. With suitable cheap optics this could be accomplished while adding minimally to the volume, weight, or price of the unit.

supercat, Mar 04 2002


       I think this is useful for cameras and cell phones, too. +
bristolz, Mar 04 2002

       Yet better, why not have the remote equipped with the appropriately hued dentition, linking it with a similiarly endowed PC, and store the instructions electronically inside it? You can crank up the font on the computer to a comfortable viewing size, even for granny's dim eyes.
neelandan, Mar 04 2002

       Why not just print the URL for the manual on the side? The manufacturer's name and product ID are already usually enough to pull up instructions for many electronic products.
Krate, Mar 04 2002

       Instructions are usually easy. It's the codes that I forget. How about a place to write the codes, like the inside of the battery compartment door? Have a label preprinted with

VCR __ __ __ TV __ __ __ CABLE __ __ __ and the user writes their codes in the appropriate spot.
quarterbaker, Mar 04 2002

       A barcode on the item for which you need instructions, a barcode scanner-equipped iPAQ, and little Pocket IE Web pages of the instructions.
bristolz, Mar 04 2002

       Hewlett Packard had good concise instructions printed right on the backside of the product (HP11 and others) back when they made great calculators.
LoriZ, Mar 04 2002

       Q: How would you read the micro-printed instuctions on the side of the micro-print viewer if you forgot how to use the micro-print viewer?
gootyam, Mar 04 2002

       // Q: How would you read the micro-printed instuctions on the side of the micro-print viewer if you forgot how to use the micro-print viewer?//   

       Uh, to use the microprint viewer, you hold the flat white part of the device in the direction of a light source while you look in the lens-y part. Pretty straightforward, though I guess I haven't noticed any of the toys that worked on that principle anywhere for quite awhile. I did, though, see a pet collar that worked on that notion; it had a little thingie one would look in to reveal a huge amount of information about one's pet (assuming one had suitably filled in the form and sent it into the manufacturer who would then return the teensy-weensy film thingie).
supercat, Mar 05 2002

       {quarterbaker} - My Universal remote has a sticker exactly as you described. Its a "3-2-1" remote if your bothered.
Danzarak, Mar 05 2002

       Peter, I wish you did too. I'm trying to find the 'off' button.
waugsqueke, Mar 05 2002

       Maybe some hacks out there can tell us how to crack the UR to cause any infrared device to display a generic text menu on a TV universally. I'm guessing most folk own a remote ready TV or equivalent by now.
reensure, Mar 05 2002

       Hmm... Since most remotes require the user to "get close" and then fine-tune things, how about setting up a remote so that completely non-interoperable devices had a "class ID" from 02 to 69, and then have a button which sends out "channel 02" to a class 2 device, "channel 03" to a class 3 device, etc. Once it's done, you can tell by which channel your TV or VCR is showing what class it is.
supercat, Apr 02 2002


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