The One Remote To Rule Them All ( or at least your Smart Devices!)

The Sevenhugs smart remote tries to solve one of the most pressing problems of an increasingly diverse Smart Home. Usability. Even though most companies would like users to be tied into one ecosystem completely, the early nature of the Smart Home and IoT, in general, has meant that users are often saddled with devices that not only do not talk to each other but also require a separate app installed on your phone to be controlled through.

So you walk into your house and use one app to switch on the lights, another to set the thermostat to a comfortable setting, yet another to set your coffeemaker working and so on. It sounds smart but not really that convenient and is a big reason why the Smart Home concept has not taken off like many thought it would.

Enter Sevenhugs, a company that raised close to $1 Million for its universal IoT remote via crowdfunding last year and now has finalized the hardware to show off at CES.

First impressions about the device and its usability are pretty amazing. The remote works like how you would expect it to. You just point the remote into the direction of your smart device and the remote does rest of the work, detects the device and brings up controls for you to use it by.

The remote itself has a touch screen on it and thus can provide appropriate controls for users with ease. For example, the controls for a Sonos speaker will be different than those for a thermostat or a smart light.

The remote supports almost any Bluetooth, Wifi or infrared device that you throw at it and also allows you to customize certain gestures. Want an uber? Point it at your driveway and it will hail you one.

There is support for IFTTT built in so you can set up a chain of commands to help automate your Smart Home even further.

There are some drawback and unknowns, though. The remote requires users mounting three sensors in each room that the remote needs to function in. These sensors are small and discreet but definitely not invisible.

Their AAA battery is supposed to last for a year.

The other unknown is the battery on the remote itself. The company claims that it will last for two days between charges which seem a little less to us without taking into account users that love to tinker with things all the time.

There already seem to be a ton of things that need charging all the time and a Smart Home remote that needs plugging in every other day just sounds a little cumbersome.

These few minor quibbles asides, though, this Smart Remote from Sevenhugs is probably the best way yet to get around having a thousand different apps on your phone for everyday tasks.


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