The Internet of Things, or making everyday objects smart and connected, is giving us a lot of devices to control in our homes. So Sevenhugs is today announcing its Smart Remote that allows users to control any device by pointing the remote at it. The San Francisco-based company is also launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign today for the project.
Smart Remote can control your TV, lights, music, and thermostat. You can also use it to order an Uber. You can control any device simply by pointing at it. The remote aims to make the smart home experience more enjoyable.
Sevenhugs has applied for patents for its “point and control” technology that enables Smart Remote’s screen to adapt automatically to any device. When a user points at a device, Smart Remote instantly displays custom controls to operate that particular device as intuitively as possible. Compatible devices include Samsung Smart TVs, Philips Hue lights, Sonos speakers, Nest Learning Thermostat, and others.
“Customers today are frustrated that every device requires its own app or controller, which leads to clutter, confusion, and wasted time,” says Simon Tchedikian, Sevenhugs’ cofounder and CEO, in a statement. “We’ve pushed the boundaries of today’s technologies to build a better solution. For the first time in history, we’ve integrated a precise indoor positioning system in a consumer electronic device, allowing users to control tens of thousands of connected devices in a simple and intuitive way. All you have to do is point at what you want to control.”
Smart Remote works with more than 25,000 devices through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or infrared. The screen adapts to any device and displays intuitive touch-screen controls customized for each device you point at. It combines motion-tracking sensors and an indoor positioning system. You can check your weather by pointing at the window (Of course, you could look outside the window, too).
Created in collaboration with French designer Pierre Garner of Elium Studio, Smart Remote’s design is “beautiful, sleek, and intuitive,” the company says. Smart Remote learns your habits, predicts your actions, and allows you to create “personalized scenes,” such as automatically dimming your lights when you turn on your TV.
Sevenhugs also offers an open applications programming interface to support continuous expansion of Smart Remote’s features and services by developers.
Tchedikian said, “We truly embrace the passion of the Kickstarter community and know that it’s the perfect venue for an innovative product like the Sevenhugs Smart Remote. We want our backers to help us build the perfect universal remote control and influence the development of what we view as their product. Now, with the help of the Kickstarter community, we’re excited to put the finishing touches on the world’s first truly smart remote.”
Sevenhugs’ Kickstarter campaign goal for Smart Remote is $50,000. Early-bird Kickstarter pricing starts at $100, and the first backers will receive Smart Remote in June 2017. Smart Remote will be available at select retailers in the fall of 2017 for $300.
With offices in San Francisco and Paris, Sevenhugs was founded in 2014 by Tchedikian, Stéphane Jaubertou, Lionel Marty, and Olivier Mandine. To date, Sevenhugs has raised more than $17.5 million, and it has 25 employees.