18.01.17

Smart remote could control many devices in the home

hand holding Sevenhugs Smart Remote prototype

For many the concept of a ‘smart home’ can be an overwhelming prospect and one or two products (such as a voice device or thermostat) they love can be the gateway to recognising the benefits home technology. A remote from Sevenhugs backed by Kickstarter is aiming to do just that, by boasting universal control of a number of popular products for the home.

Among the buzz surrounding the thinnest displays, displays that were also speakers, robots and unique (and sometimes bizarre – smart hairbrush anyone?) IoT devices, quietly capturing the attention of attendees on the showfloor at CES 2017 was a small remote backed by Kickstarter funding.

The smart remote from Sevenhugs tackles a problem many consumers find as they start to grow their collection of home devices from the initial product/s that may have captured their attention.

Easy to use and simple in design, the touchscreen device packs a lot of potential into its tiny form factor, and the manufacturer say it will work with a number of manufacturers (including Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Sonos, Bose and Amazon), as well as having IFTTT support. Sevenhugs states users can even order an Uber from the device – WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity is all that’s needed.

The connected sockets on the remote also can be used with normal devices, for example, at CES the company presented how a normal lightbulb connected to a prototype socket shaped as a lightbulb socket was turned on via the remote.

The technology works from an indoor positioning system and three motion tracking sensors which automatically 3D map a room and adapt to the device a homeowner is pointing to within a range of around 10 metres (30 feet).

Behind the loud and proud technology of CES, savvy gadgets from the likes of Sevenhugs shine as a way to help consumers navigating contrasting apps and interfaces a less daunting prospect, and make home technology more accessible. The product is currently in development to expand upon the Philips Hue, Sonos and Nest support it currently offers, and will taking preorders between February and March (priced at around £140/€185).