Tag Archives: Universal Remote

SmartEgg connects all your remotes to your phone

A truly universal and eggscellent remote for the Internet of Things.

It seems like today we have remote controls for everything and keeping track of them can be a hassle. Our current home entertainment systems alone require more than one remote to rev up our TV, cable box, audio system and DVD player. Do we honestly use all the buttons on each of these remotes? Unlikely. The team at AICO Technologies are making things easier for us by replacing all of those remote controls with just one.


You may be thinking, “But universal remotes already exist!” True, but what’s been on the market is either only for home entertainment or smart home automation. What about the other appliances with controls in our house? Meet SmartEgg, an all-in-one smart remote that pairs to your phone. It not only controls your home electronics, but also your thermostat and any infrared devices via Bluetooth.

SmartEgg is backed with a cloud database that already contains a growing list of over 5,500 remote controllers and 125,000 infrared hex codes, so it can sync your phone to any of your devices. Additionally, SmartEgg has self-learning capabilities for the slim chance that your gadget is not in the database.


Since SmartEgg stores all the control keys of your appliances, you can combine keys from any of those controllers to fit your scene. Its user-friendly interface allows you to customize the control buttons by removing unwanted buttons and reordering them. Now you’ll have a control with only the functions you need. This is ideal for your home entertainment experience. The process of turning on your TV and DVD player, then switching to DVD input and pressing play, is minimized to a single click.

What really sets SmartEgg apart from other universal remotes is its smart technology. Living up to its name, SmartEgg interacts with other devices if certain conditions are meet. For example, it can mute the TV when you’re receiving a call or set the thermostat an hour early before you arrive home from work. The unit employs Bluetooth Low Energy proximity sensing, also known as iBeacon technology, which triggers a scene automatically whenever your phone is detected nearby.


The SmartEgg boasts a wireless reach of 20m (65ft) indoors and 50m (164ft) outdoors, as well as an infrared range of more than 10m (32ft). With SmartEgg, you no longer have the inconvenience of replacing batteries for your various remote controls. Its battery consumes less energy, making it last over 12 months.

Interested? Head over to the SmartEgg’s Kickstarter page, where the AICO team is nearing its $50,000 goal. Delivery is expected to get underway in February 2016.

Hacking an ultimate all-in-one remote with ATtiny85

Maker adds RF control, command sequences and USB power to a Griffin Beacon. 

It’s always exciting to see once discontinued, obsolete products brought back to life with a simple hack and a little DIY ingenuity. Added to the growing list of reincarnated devices is this Griffin Beacon Universal Remote, which has recently been modded to include RF controls and USB power. After finding his former state-of-the-art remote lying around, a Maker by the name of “Joedefa” had decided that it was time for it to stop collecting dust. With the number of wireless devices on the rise, it was clearer than ever that he needed a better, much more efficient way to control them all at once.


“I always have my cell phone so the Beacon seemed like the perfect thing. But a lot of the lights and outlets in my house were RF controlled. Which sparked this project,” the Maker writes. “After fiddling with different projects to control them such as making an Arduino connected with an Ethernet to display a webpage and programming a small remote. I found that I needed a better user interface and the ability to connect to it easily.”


With that in mind, Joedefa devised a simple circuit that could relay the signal of the IR remote, while USB power eliminated any need for batteries. In addition, the project is based around an ATtiny85 that controls the communication between the infrared LED and RF transmit module. Meanwhile, a pair of red and green LEDs allows him to know if the remote has received commands successfully.


The Maker has also appended an IR LED to the build which would enable him to send IR sequences, such as entering sleep mode and a Netflix selector for his Apple TV. To streamline these actions, Joedefa added the sequences to a single button, while the ATtiny85 was tasked with executing the commands. Interested in learning more? Flip over to the project’s official Hackaday.io page here.