Remote controllers have been around for more than two decades and not a lot has changed actually. The functionality pretty much remains the same and the form factor has been eerily similar as well. With the rise in a number of devices using remote controls the need for a unified hub only increases and a French startup called SevenHugs seems to have cracked this with Smart Remote.
The uniqueness of Smart Remote is in the approach, instead of connecting to a limited set of devices like say the connected bulb, the device aims at connecting all the devices. The next part is the most interesting, in order to control a device all you need to do is brandish the smart Remote like a magic wand and voila! It will get connected. SevenHugs doesn’t just want to eliminate the remote controllers but also the smartphones which are being used as a controller for many IoT devices. The makers of the Smart Remote say that this will not only help reduce the dependency on your smartphone for these tasks but also help improve your phone’s battery life. Furthermore, this will also eliminate the need for the users to install a ton of companion apps in order to communicate with all the smart devices they use.
This is how it all happens, whenever a user points the remote at a device it automatically recognizes the device and changes its screen to display the control scheme suited for that particular device. The lamp sockets are the cornerstone of the entire operation, these lamp sockets need to be placed in the same room and what they do is feed the remote with the location data. During the initial setup user needs to point at the device and ask the remote to remember the same, then what the remote does is that it associates the device with the coordinates and thus will be automatically activated when pointed at. The trick here is that the Smart Device comes baked in with a 9-axis motion tracking sensors and thus knows its location and orientation in space.
As of now, the Smart Remote is compatible with lights, TV/Media, Speakers, Thermostats, Cams, Blinds, Fans. Locks, Sockets, Smart Hubs, Weather, IFTTT and Uber. Also, the Smart Remote supports few of the older “nonsmart” devices provided that they use any of the three communication modules, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and IR. The Remote started out as a Kickstarter campaign but is currently up for preorders priced at $229. Also, the image above will give you a better understanding of the devices that Smart Remote supports.