We’re big fans of universal remotes here at 9to5Toys. Unfortunately, the reality is that many of the options on the market struggle to live up to their full potential with questionable connectivity and design. In 2015 we saw new options from Logitech, Savant and Ray that all potentially scratch our itch. CES 2016 has brought on a new competitor: The Smart Remote by Sevenhugs. Name aside, its remote meets iPhone design has piqued our interest…
Sevenhugs’ new Smart Remote brings together a number of our favorite devices to create an all-in-one universal solution. Other than controlling your theater system, it can also reign over many of the Internet-connected devices in your home. This includes lights, your thermostat, speakers, and a myriad of other devices.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about its design is the way Sevenhugs has programmed its hardware to identify different devices. Instead of working with a RF/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth mash-up like Logitech’s products, this remote can recognize when it is pointed at a certain device. For instance, aim it at the TV and a specific menu will pop-up on the touch display for your setup. Point it towards your Nest and the appropriate interface is displayed. These contextual adjustments are particularly intriguing and certainly sets this product apart.
How does the remote know where it’s pointed at? There are three connected sockets that ship with the product. By plugging these into outlets around your space, the Smart Remote can identify where it is being pointed at. The goal is here to simplify the universal remote experience. I have to agree, simply pointing at a device is easier than having to navigate a series of on-screen buttons. Of course, it’s yet to be seen how effective this hardware is.
The touchscreen display uses a slider-inspired interface to adjust volume, change channels, or raise and lower temperature. While not controlling your devices, the Smart Remote can also call up weather and other information. There is an open SDK in the making that will allow developers to further integrate software and hardware.
The Smart Remote is “currently in development” and will be available for pre-order some time during Q1. It is slated to ship in September with a yet-to-be-determined price tag. Until then, it’s up to Logitech to continue on dominating the universal remote space. The Simple Remote is still our favorite amongst all of the options that we have tested. This highly-rated remote offers control of up to eight devices at a time including Apple TV, SONOS, gaming consoles and much more.
More New Toy of the Day:
- Segway and Intel got together to create a futuristic robot butler
- Nostalgia runs high on Kodak’s modern take of the Super 8 camera
- LG drops new ultra-slim OLED 4K UHDTVs at CES that focus on HDR capabilities
- Bang & Olufsen releases a new aluminum soundbar with AirPlay and a big price tag
- Parrot’s new DISCO drone hits the skies with 50MPH speeds and extended flight times