Further, what if the device you already have -- an iPad, a netbook, a notebook -- is the new remote control for your HTPC? Sure, it can happen with apps like GoToMyPC or LogMeIn or VNC, but what if the device is more interactive and knows what's on the display?
If you can take away the interface from interfering with what you see on TV (the channel changing notifications, the programming guide, even the commercials) and then present that on the control device, you now have an almost perfect environment for both content consumers and advertisers.
While I understand ads aren't the favorite thing, imagine if the remote could log into a resource like Hulu or Netflix or Facebook to provide you with relevant ad content on the remote so that the large screen content doesn't get interrupted by ads?
The remote control interface, meanwhile, is contained on the remote device, completely. Fully interactive with the viewing device, and the remote *knows* what's on the viewing device. Yes, you can still use the remote device for small simultaneous viewing of what's on the big screen, but all the interactive content is on the remote. Press, click, swipe, touch to change channel, check the IMDB listing for what's on the TV, tweet about what you're watching, do all the other stuff the big screen is trying to do for Google TV.
If done right, this is a two-device media center that changes the way you change the channel. The question won't be "Where's the remote?" You're already using it.