Savant has spent the last ten years as the go-to home automation company for the ultra-wealthy. Steve Jobs even leaned on this company to deck out his infamous Venus yacht. But now, Savant is aiming to bring its beautiful functional home control system to the masses by reducing prices.
Its first foray into the mass consumer market comes way of a new universal remote. There is no denying, this thing is beautiful. Watch out Logitech, you have some competition on your hands…
This isn’t your typical universal remote, even by our standards. The Savant Remote comes in at 7 x 2-inches and features a large display that takes up roughly half the device. Of course, it has the expected volume, channel and playback controls. By integrating a display, it allows users to have the same familiar touchscreen interface of an iPhone or iPad as well as physical buttons.
Savant’s remote largely operates via an included hub that provides connectivity to all your home theater devices. Aside from the typical IR capabilities, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity is also built-in. At the outset, Savant claims to support more than 380,000 devices, including Apple TV, DirecTV, Roku and SONOS systems.
Each device is grouped into “scenes” that cue up certain devices. For example, “movie” might turn on your Apple TV, adjust the sound system settings and dim your Philips Hue lights. This allows users to set preferences and create individualized scenes. Savant uses an iOS and Android app to setup the remote and corresponding devices.
One of the standout features is voice control. A large microphone button rests in the center of the remote. A press activates a Siri-like experience that allows users to speak commands. Much like the new Apple TV remote, this feature simplifies the some times frustrating experience of changing inputs and finding content. The remote itself runs on an Android operating system.
Savant is currently accepting reservations on its new $500 remote, which is set to ship “before the holiday season”. By comparison, Logitech’s recently released Elite remote retails for $350. It offers many of the same functions but is not as visually appealing as Savant. It also lacks voice functionality, which is a defining feature of this new product. Savant has certainly outdone itself in terms of design, one can’t help but think this is the remote Steve Jobs envisioned when he famously stated that he had cracked the code to building a TV.
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