The majority of my posts discuss the ability to retrieve information from physical objects from camera phones using physical world hyperlinks.
Another function for your "universal remote control", will be the ability for a cell phone to operate and interact with the "Internet of Things". One of the ways will be using Zigbee technology.
The ZigBee standard which offers the mass production promises of adding a radio to anything for less than one dollar in the next few years.
This is called Phase 2 of the Internet, it will dwarf Phase 1 (email, surfing).
Freescale is targeting for future Zigbee products is the consumer cell phone market, with an eye to providing home owners with the ability to control various home automation functions as easily as they would call in a pizza order.
Zigbee in cell phones is part of a larger evolution of the IEEE standard for industrial and home automation.
The next generation of Zigbee, which is a wireless peer-to-peer mesh network protocol, will more deeply penetrate the residential space. So why not use a common device such as a cell phone to control the network.
“The remote controls that you use in the home will transition from infrared to RF,” said Brett Black, commercial wireless operations manager at Freescale. “RF offers two-way acknowledgement.
There are some exciting companies that are working on making Phase 2 happen.