Eugene Polley, inventor of the wireless remote control has died of natural causes at the age of 96. His 1955 invention called the Flash-Matic forever changed the way consumers would watch television.

His death was announced by the Zenith Electronics Corporation, where he began his career in the stockroom before rising through the engineering ranks.

The wireless remote control used a beam of light directed at sensors on the television to change channels or turn it of. The Flash-Matic remote, which worked like a flashlight, was shaped like a snub-nosed revolver.

Eugene Polley only received a thousand-dollar bonus for his invention, but the device was soon replaced by a more efficient, more enduring and far better-selling wireless remote control, developed by Robert Adler.