Hardware

Published on January 9th, 2017 | by Kirk Hiner

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CES: Hands-on with Sevenhugs’ Apple TV compatible Smart Remote

Apple’s Siri Remote for the Apple TV is actually a pretty cool device once you get the hang of it, but it’s not for everyone, especially if you’re still seeking a universal device that controls pretty much everything around your TV. If that’s you, but you still want a remote that works well with your Apple TV, the Smart Remote from Sevenhugs is worth a look.

The Smart Remote won three awards at CES 2017, including most innovative product in the Smart Home category. BEST Apple TV’s Brad Gibson is on hand at CES this week, so he stopped by the Sevenhugs booth to get his hands on this unique universal device.

ces 2017 sevenhugs smart remote

First, though, some basics.

The Sevenhugs Smart Remote is compatible with more than 25,000 devices. That, of course, means you’re not relegated to TVs and sound systems. The Smart Remote can also control lights, thermostats, fans, blinds, hubs, etc. How does is do that? Theoretically—via its patent-pending point and control technology—you point the remote at the device you want to control, and the high def touchscreen adapts to controls specific for that device. And if separate devices are close together (like a TV, receiver and cable box), the Smart Remote prompts you to pick which device you want to command.

The positioning technology is controlled by 9-axis motion sensors placed in the room. These are used to determine at what the remote is pointing in 3D space. This video explains it pretty well:

The technology looks pretty cool, but is the $229 preorder worth it for Apple TV users? Brad Gibson shares his impressions from the CES show floor.

What makes the Smart Remote special is that it figures out what device you’re pointing it at, and then automatically shows you the right controls for that device. We’re not talking about just TVs and DVRs here, but almost any WiFi, Bluetooth, or infrared device is compatible…everything from a Philips Hue lightbulb to a Sonos music streaming box. It’s also smart enough to know when two devices are too close together and offer controls for both with a simple swipe. Even more special is its ability to conduct certain tasks by pointing it at inanimate objects. For instance, point it at the door and it will call you an Uber car or point it at the ceiling to change the thermostat temperature.

All this happens because of three small, discreet, sensors that come with the kit that you mount in each room you want to use it in.

It’s an interesting technology. With Sevenhugs building the Smart Remote as a platform to control other third-party devices it is partnering with, it has a strong, future potential for Apple TV users.

For more information on the Smart Remote or to place you preorder, visit remote.sevenhugs.com.

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About the Author

has been writing for the Apple web since 1997, having served as editor of Applelinks and the Technology Tell Apple Channel. He is also currently editor-in-chief of Public Access Gaming. Kirk lives with his wife and three children in small-town Ohio where the land is cheap and the air is (relatively) clean.



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