Tag Archives: Remote control

Control everything in your home with the sleek Savant Remote

With a high-def touchscreen and voice control, this is only remote you’ll ever need. 

If you’ve never heard of Savant Systems, you’re not alone. And if you happen to have their technology installed in your home, chances are you’re in the one percent of the top one percent. Just to give you an idea of how rich we’re talking, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs used the company to automate his super yacht. Now, the Cape Cod-based company is looking to make their high-end gadgetry a bit more accessible for the masses with its new product, the Savant Remote.


Their latest product still comes with a pretty hefty price tag, though. And rightfully so. After all, the brand has become the Rolls-Royce of smart home equipment. Aside from the $499 remote, the system will come with a hub that communicates to third-party devices, like Roku’s streaming video box, Sonos speakers, Philips Hue lighting and even Apple TV, over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. That’s not all. Each box will also ship with a charging base and a wireless blaster that lets you reach cable boxes and receivers outside of your Savant Remote’s line of sight.

At the moment, the company tells Forbes that the remote will focus primarily on entertainment, allowing users to set “scenes” to start syncing their gadgets. For example, you can add lamp control to set the mood for movie night or sound a morning playlist to jumpstart your day. Not to mention, you can command everything using nothing more than your voice. When it’s time to hit the hay, simply press the microphone button and wish yourself a “goodnight” to turn everything off. Say “Apple TV’ to browse for a new movie or “Relax” to cue up a mellow Sonos tunes and dim the lights. Right now, the universal remote can integrate with more than 380,000 of today’s most popular products.


This slick handheld unit is equipped with all of the standard buttons and functions you’d typically find on any remote (play and pause, fast forward and rewind). What’s more, it boasts a high-resolution touchscreen on top, which displays three different screens for your favorite channels, controllable services and scene options, along with a microphone. As Forbes reveals, the Savant Remote features an Atmel processor at its core, a Bluetooth module for communication and runs on the Android operating system.

Perhaps Savant CEO William Lynch summed it up best when he told the magazine, “There’s a lot of crap out there in the Internet of Things market. We’re not launching some $25 remote to get into 10 million homes. We want to do things right.” Interested? You won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on one as the remote will be available in early December. Until then, head over to its page to learn more.

SPIN remote is the simplest remote you will ever need

This smart knob wants to bring simplicity to your device-filled world.

Did you know that the average household has three remote controls lying around the living room, with about 40 buttons on each? That’s 120 buttons in total — quite a bit if you ask us. Well, a Netherlands-based team of Makers has set out to simplify the way in which you interact with the world around you starting with the remote control.


“Over time more and more technology has found its way into the living room. The once simple task of watching TV has become a joint effort of our HD television, our interactive set-top box and our AV receiver. While those devices kept getting smarter, the remote control has stayed the same ever since the introduction of infrared technology in 1980. It never evolved into something more than a plastic box with buttons, we just ended up with more buttons,” the team writes.


From turning on your lights to changing radio stations, SPIN remote is the only device you will ever need in the era of constant connectivity. While it may not eliminate buttons altogether, it does converge the ones that you really use. And, with over 120, that can surely come in handy!

The smart gadget is packed with a number of components including an Atmel | SMART SAM D20, along with a capacitive touchpad, 360° infrared LEDs, a low energy Bluetooth module, color LEDs, motion sensors and a buzzer, all enclosed in a shockproof metal casing. Its embedded series of sensors enable the remote to detect motion, rotation, orientation, touch and even proximity. Imagine how easy it’ll be to change the TV channel by merely turning a dial.


“Your SPIN remote knows how you are holding it (straight, sideways or upside down), how you are rotating it (clockwise or counter clockwise) and how fast you are rotating. All of this information is analyzed by our innovative software in realtime, allowing SPIN remote to seamlessly transform rotation into commands.”

This compact and convenient device can easily be customized using its companion app as well. The app, which is for both iOS and Android, takes a user through the setup process in a matter of a few steps. All a user must do is select the function he or she wants to add, then press the button on their old-school remote control and presto! Those looking for more functionality can use the app to create their own presets, add new devices, customize the touchpad and combine function with rotation to fit their needs and desires.


Not only does it have brains, it’s beautiful as well. Users can choose from a variety of different shells for their personal SPIN remote, including aluminum, brass, and our favorite, the Kickstarter special.

Those wishing to have the simplest remote ever can head over to the project’s official Kickstarter page, where team has already successfully achieved its €100,000 goal. A smart world calls for a smart remote!

Video: This vuvuzela is also a (soccer) remote

beIN has introduced a fully-functioning (and loud) vuvuzela that can also be used as a remote control.

When the aptly-named GameChanger is blown, a mini microphone recognizes the vuvuzela sound signature, instructing the platform’s 8-bit, Atmel-based microcontroller (MCU) to respond. The MCU then sends IR LED signals to a cable box – commanding it to change the channel to beIN sports.

The GameChanger was designed by BeIN’s agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York and prototyped on an Atmel-based Arduino board.

“Soccer fans are diehard fans, they will get up at any hour of the morning to watch a game, but in the U.S. soccer is kind of like the ugly stepchild of sports compared to football or basketball,” Ed Rogers, account executive at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York told DigiDay.

“We wanted to create something that shows soccer fans that we really understand their passion.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the GameChanger’s official page here and DigiDay’s full write up here.

This DIY Arduino magnetic levitation vehicle inspires future engineers

Team Antipodes – an all-girls robotic team from Pacifica, California – has participated in a number of prestigious DIY competitions within the rapidly growing Maker Movement over the years.

Most recently, the Antipodes crew was spotted next to the Arduino and Atmel booths at Maker Faire in the Bay Area showcasing a DIY remote controlled (RC) model maglev with electromagnetic propulsion.

As the folks at the Arduino blog note, a maglev is just like a conventional train but instead of wheels it has magnets – and levitates!

“At the 2010-2011 FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) World Championships in St. Louis, Dean Kamen challenged the competitors to create something extraordinary, something that would change the world,” an Antipodes blog post explained.

“We immediately thought to complete our original vision of a remote controlled hybrid maglev model that would inspire future engineers (other kids) and companies to make maglev advances that would build on our hybrid maglev idea.”

The maglev, which won the Maker Faire Editor’s Choice blue ribbon, is powered by Arduino’s UNO and wireless Protoshield, along with a number of other components you can read about here.