A random study of the evolution of domestic tiffs through the ages has revealed a key trigger that catalyses most fights — technology

It was the era of technology. Marriages had never had it so good before. Gadgets did all the work, computers did all the thinking and mobiles did all the networking. Life should have been perfect, but it wasn’t.

Both man and his wife were constantly bickering. To keep them apart, the Creator invented the television, with sports and entertainment channels, so the two of them would be suitably distracted. Initially the channels operated for only a few hours a day, so the couple shared the television amicably. But trouble began when they functioned 24 hours. The battle began with renewed vigour, with each trying to hog the television all the time.

The man, wanting to outsmart the wife, came up with the channel-changing Vuvuzela, which was equipped with an 8-bit microchip and a tiny microphone, and operated using Arduino technology. When he blew the Vuvuzela, it intercepted the sound waves produced and sent an infrared signal to the set-top box. This resulted in the channel watched by wife immediately changed to the one he preferred. Point, blow, change channel — it was really that simple.

However, the wife turned out to be smarter than the man and quietly replaced the Vuvuzela with another musical instrument that would make music from tattoos. The instrument comprised an Arduino circuit board, a stepper motor and in-built black line sensors, which scanned the skin and read the tattoos. This resulted in electronic sounds being produced. Every little indentation and design element in the tattoo could be read as a note or an instruction. The device could also be controlled manually — with a 3D Wii remote controller — and by varying the speed and direction of the sensors, different audio tracks could be created from the same tattoo.

It turned out to be a disaster for man — he was a football fan, and as most footballers had tattoos from head to toe, and the instrument scanned all their tattoos like bar codes and began playing music. Since the EPL had players from all over the world, the music that emerged from the instrument sounded pretty confused and weird, like a million school kids playing their favourite instruments together.

So the man decided to go one-up on his wife and designed the Alert Shirt, which would bypass the tattoo reader and help him experience the game as though he were playing it. Created using haptic technology, the shirt was equipped with a battery and feedback motors that transmitted impulses to the skin. These impulses were triggered via data obtained through Bluetooth, using a smartphone app. Wearing the shirt, he could feel every emotion and physical action — from euphoria to exhaustion, from sledges to shoves — that happened on the field.

Not to be outdone, the wife came up with technology that could help her control gadgets with a wink. Called Blinkifier, the kit would recognise the contraction of the eye muscles when the eyelids moved. Each time she blinked, the two eyelashes would make contact and complete a circuit. This would then send an infrared signal to the gadget in front and help her change the channel.

The Creator had had enough. To ensure that technology wouldn’t be abused any further by these two, he came up with a device that was small, handy and helped change channels in a jiffy. Now, the chances of the man and his wife fighting were remote and the device would give them complete control over the television. And so, he aptly named it the ‘remote control’. ‘At last,’ he heaved a sigh of relief, ‘this will ensure that they will not quarrel any longer.’

What happened next is history.

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