Having a smart automation system that can control all the devices in a home is something that a growing number of consumers are looking for. Neeo from the Cupertino, California, company of the same name combines some of the best features of a mobile app-based smart home automation system with those of a universal remote control. It also adds a few features that rival devices just don’t have, such as four antennas that integrate Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave protocol functionality.
There are two main parts of the Neeo system: the “Brain,” a small hockey puck-shaped device made of solid aluminum and acrylic glass, that will command all of the user’s devices, including TVs and Blu-ray players; and the remote, which provides instant control of all those devices. Sensors in the attractive remote detect the user’s palm and matches it with that person’s profile. It then displays that person’s personal playlists, movies and favorites from connected devices instantly, the company claims. Also attractive is the remote’s 291 pixels per inch touch display.
If the user can’t find the remote, an SOS alarm function that is activated via an iOS or Android smartphone will help track it down. Neeo has a database of more than 30,000 devices that it can connect to and control, and is compatible with all major AV products made in the last 10 years. Kickstarter backers who pledge $148 will get one Brain in April and the free app. Those who pledge $219 will, in May, get the Brain and the remote in either the standard aluminum version or one of two limited edition SKUs, in black or white. The system’s maker is looking to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter.
As long as the Neeo remote is indeed compatible with as many devices as the company claims and the set-up process is as simple as it says, the system is among the most promising products to come along in the home automation and universal remote categories lately. It surpasses most similar devices including last year’s Droplit. As a universal remote, it also stands to be a major challenger to the popular Harmony remotes from Logitech.