Looking to simplify the endless number of apps and interfaces used to control smart-home products, French start-up Sevenhugs has introduced the first “contextually aware” universal Smart Remote. In other words, it’s the first remote to understand where it is in your home and what it’s pointing at, allowing users to simply point and click to control devices instead of switching between apps. This trick is made possible by three sockets (all included in a kit), which are placed around the room to help triangulate the remote’s position. From there, pointing to the TV can be trained to bring up channel controls, or aiming at a Sonos speaker will mean music controls are displayed. Pointing to a window can even be designated to reveal weather information. In addition, the sockets themselves can help connect “dumb” fixtures; plugging a lamp into one will allow the remote to turn it on or off from across the room.
Though Sevenhugs only demoed the remote with interfaces for three smart products (some of the most popular out there, mind you)—Sonos speakers, Philips Hue lightbulbs and Nest thermostats—the remote’s indoor localization technology allows it to act as a blank canvas, with the possibility to emulate the interface of any WiFi- or Bluetooth-connected device thanks to an open source SDK. Sevenhugs is currently working to refine the remote, and they’ve planned for pre-orders to begin sometime early this year with an expected ship date of September 2016. And while pricing isn’t set, they hope to retail the Smart Remote for under $200. To see it in action, visit the Sevenhugs website.
Images courtesy of Sevenhugs