Home controlling remotes are nothing particularly new, and we’ve been huge fans of the excellent Harmony Elite from Logitech, but Sevenhug’s Smart Remote does this a bit differently.
While most remotes have heaps of buttons, and make you manually select the device you’re looking to control, the Smart Remote can automatically switch its settings depending on where it’s pointed.
If pointed at your Sonos, volume controls will materialize, point it at a lamp with a Philips Hue bulb, and you’ll be able to switch colours or turn it off. Heck, even pointing this thing at your front door will give you an option to call an Uber.
The wand-like quality comes from the remote connecting to base stations scattered around your home which pack in heaps of sensors, ranging from an accelerometer, gyroscope, and the more common IR blaster. You’ll also find Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and Sevenhug claims more than 25,000 devices can be controlled by the remote.
It’s all rather impressive, especially when you factor in it’s smaller than the competition, and barely larger than Apply TV’s Siri remote. Similar to the Siri remote, you’ll need to keep the Smart Remote charged, with the internal battery lasting a few days before you’ll have to charge it on the included USB-C dock.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to test the accuracy of the motion sensing capabilities, but we were impressed by the Smart Remote regardless. Although dinky, the huge HD touchscreen covers the entire front, and is rather sharp and responsive. If you lose the remote, a button on the base station will buzz the remote for you, and the Android or iOS set-up app seems quite easy to use.
As with the Logitech Harmony, you can create bespoke scenes that will accomplish multiple tasks with a single button press. As it comes with infrared support, it can also learn to control the TV and other devices, even if they’re not ‘smart.’
Having said all this, the Smart Remote will live and die by how well its motion sensors work. There could be nothing worse than pointing it at your Sonos, and being given options to turn your lights off. So let’s hope all goes as advertised when the Smart Remote goes on sale later this year.
You can pre-order right now on Indiegogo for $229, with the price umping to $299 when officially launched in September.