Universal remote controls still offer a pretty good way to reduce the number of remotes needed to power all the electronic devices in a room.
But SmartEgg takes the concept of a universal remote a few steps further. The egg-shaped universal remote control center works in conjunction with Android and iOS mobile devices to automate one’s home. It can control any infrared device using Bluetooth 4.0, according to its Kickstarter campaign.
SmartEgg has an internal timer to switch electronics on and off — even when the user is not home. It also has a self-learning capability to adapt to old or new devices, and will interact with devices if certain conditions are met. For example, it will mute the TV if the phone rings. SmartEgg also supports iBeacon technology.
The patented, simple graphic user interface allows controls including Set Temperature, Set Mode and Fan Speed and Turn On air conditioner to be done in one human gesture-friendly move, according to the campaign. SmartEgg ships in February at $89, although early bird backers have been able to get one at pricing that starts at $30. Its makers are out to raise $50,000 by Jan. 8.
With its high degree of compatibility –- already more than 5,500 remotes and 125,000 infrared codes, and growing –- SmartEgg is likely to be appealing to many consumers. Another plus is that there isn’t a limit on how many remotes can be controlled by it, unlike the somewhat similar Spin remote. The design of SmartEgg isn’t nearly as clever and original as Spin’s, but SmartEgg seems easier to use. But SmartEgg’s main rival may be Pulse, a universal remote charging system for electronic devices that works in conjunction with the Peel app.