Move over standard, TV-only remotes! The newest smart remotes are ready to let you control multiple aspects of your home, from blinds to thermostats to garage doors and streaming devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) has facilitated critical leaps in innovation that make smart, automated homes truly possible; devices from different manufacturers need to be interconnected, and security is paramount. Luckily, smart home devices like smart remotes have come a long way from their earliest versions.
The Earliest Smart Home Devices
More than a futuristic movie concept, the idea of smart homes arrived in the 1970s with X10, a technology that used the home’s air conditioning wiring to enable communication between devices and control modules. As expected for all new inventions at their infant stages, this early version of a smart home was slow, vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, and often disjointed, making it difficult to gain widespread adoption.
In the early 2000s, companies began releasing their first iterations of wireless technologies for smart homes. The challenge was that these devices were often incompatible with each other, making it expensive and difficult to connect different devices within the home. The Nest thermostat was released in 2010 as one of the first innovations that closely mirrors today’s sophisticated smart home products; Nest thermostats collected data and behavior activity to make thermostat adjustment recommendations and allowed homeowners to use the Nest app through wireless Internet.
In 2023, not everything in the smart home world is perfect, but open-sourcing and interconnectivity have made true automation possible while maintaining higher standards of security. Home automation systems can operate everything from lighting to temperature to security, all from a single app or remote.
The Future of Home Automation
The home automation market is expected to hit $788.3 billion by 2032, driven by consumers’ desire to reduce energy consumption, increase the productivity of their everyday lives, improve their home security, and make their lives easier. Due to the emergence of smart home devices like entertainment systems, streaming devices, lighting, appliances, nursery gadgets, and more, smart remote controls are smarter than ever. Imagine lowering your blinds for the night with the same remote that turns on your outdoor pool lighting, locks the doors, and turns on ambient music inside.
Take a look at some of the smart remotes that power televisions and streaming devices, communication hubs, or sophisticated home automation systems available today:
At a price point below $30, this user-friendly universal remote comes pre-programmed for Apple TV, Xbox One, Media Center/Kodi, Roku, and more. Plus, get access to a global database of all top TV manufacturers, and if you’re tech-savvy, you can even program up to 15 strings of commands into the device.
An upgrade from the previous smart remote, the SofaBaxton X1 is more of a universal smart remote that controls everything from your home theater devices to Philips Hue lights and Sonos speakers. It supports more than 500,000 home entertainment devices of 6,000 brands. It is one of the few commercial universal remotes that connects multiple entertainment devices like a TV, DVD player or recorder, Blu-ray player, and more.
Another foray into the full smart home world, the T3X is a universal remote that integrates with a full slate of devices, including A/V and home automation systems. At a whopping $999, it promises rich integrations and controls across various devices and hubs.
Smart Home Systems
Embrace true automated, smart living. The Control4 System is an all-encompassing solution that can include door locks, gates, cameras, security systems, water heaters, water shutoffs, generators, blinds, intercom, lighting, TV, music, garage doors, and streaming devices. It promises to play nicely with all devices and lets homeowners control everything from their hands or voice.
Another true universal remote, the URC offers total control over tv, music, lighting, climate, shades, security, garage functions, and more through the handheld touch screen or voice control. With push-to-talk and a 2.4-inch touch screen, homeowners or building operators can quickly and easily control all automation products. With advanced functionality like dimming the lights, adjusting motorized shades, or unlocking the front door, the URC Total Control is a premium handheld remote option.
Recently merged with Nice, a global leader in home automation, the Elan whole home system offers endless possibilities for making a home more interconnected and automated. They also provide professional installation and even work with home builders to create the next generation of smart homes. Intelligent touch panels can be situated throughout the house, or homeowners can use one of their many remotes for on-the-go control. Elan security systems use their proprietary IntelliVision® analytics for personalized alerts for a safer home.
Another Nice company product, the HR40, provides an unparalleled experience with one-touch control and live surveillance from a 3.1″ high-resolution touchscreen, allowing users to control and personalize favorites for control of media, lighting, climate, security, surveillance, and more. Homeowners can answer the doorbell, view multiple surveillance cameras, and communicate through intercoms, all while conserving energy.
How Ambiq Contributes
Ambiq® helps make homes and buildings truly smart with ultra-low-power wireless system-on-chip (SoC) solutions that allow easy monitoring and control. Whether adjusting your fridge to a more energy-efficient setting in the winter or programming lights to turn on when the family arrives home, Ambiq enables the next generation of IoT smart homes with optimal battery life and performance.