Smart Remotes are here to stay

Our home appliances are getting smarter and more sophisticated, thanks to the internet of things (IoT). A few examples can be smart fridges, locks, automatic lighting, IoT-enabled drip irrigation and of course — TVs. Once in every few months, we come across commercials telling us about the improved picture quality and intelligent features of a new TV.

Talking of TV, have you ever realized that despite all the advancements in TV technology, the remotes are still running on the decades-old model, similar buttons and similar functioning. Remotes were first brought in to work in the 1950s and they used radio-frequency (RF) technology to function. Later in the 1980s, RF was replaced by infrared (IR) and since then, not much changed in then except for their looks. Moreover, you need separate remotes for your TV, music system, set-top box, gaming console etc.

However, it’s changing now. You have options today to give your TV a smart remote with next-gen functionalities. IoT has come up with a yet another convenience for your TV and home appliances.

Let’s go ahead and throw a glance at a few major remote control options you have today.

Universal Remotes

Universal remotes were a big leap in the remote space. Logitech, Philips, and GE are some of the leading players in this segment.
Universal remotes have more sophisticated buttons with some of them even having the backlight for night viewing. The biggest advantage they have that they can be synced with multiple devices and can control them all simultaneously. So, for your TV, Blu-Ray player and even intelligent home appliances, you can just use one remote.

Voice controls

You probably are already familiar with it. Voice recognition has come a long way from what it used to be a few years ago. It’s more precise and efficient now. Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google’s Assistant are some great examples.

Voice control is truly the next level of TV watching experience. A voice-enabled remote hears your voice and uses cloud computing to convert it into a command for your TV. A few smart remote apps like Peel already come with the voice-control feature. All you need for Peel Voice control is an Android phone and the Peel Smart Remote App installed in it.

However, other voice controlled remotes and devices require some infrastructure to operate which includes the need for the TV to be equipped with a voice recognition engine. This means there are associated costs.

Although still in beginning phase, voice-controlled remotes look to receive an enthusiastic acceptance in the user community.

Gesture control

Yes, it’s as easy as it reads. Gesture control technology takes your interaction with your TV and appliance to the next level. Imagine increasing the volume on your TV with simple hand movement, or going to the next channel by shaking your head or possibly turning on the TV by throwing up a ball in the air. Wouldn’t it be fun?

Many of us have enjoyed this experience while playing with Wii consoles. Matchpoint technology, as it is called, is a little more sophisticated and can change any object into a remote. It doesn’t look for specific body parts to identify the motion. Instead, it looks for “targets” rotating around a small circular widget located at the corner of the screen.

You don’t even need a complex set-up in order for it to work. The technology only requires a small webcam to display the motion.

Smart remote apps

Perhaps these are the most convenient remote option in this list. Smart remote apps the most user-friendly way of controlling your TV. These apps allow you to use your smartphone, the handiest device, as a remote control. They use the IR-blaster in your phone and convert it into a smart remote. Compared to other options, they are the most cost-effective and user-friendly solutions. You can just download them on your phone for free. Any mote, Peel, and SURE are some of the most used smart remote apps.
Peel TV remote is one of the most popular apps in this segment. In the absence of an IR-blaster, it uses wi-fi capabilities of your devices to control them, provide they are in the same network as your phone is.

Peel remote app is compatible with all Android phones.

So if you’re fed up with losing your remote every now and then and are looking for a finer way of controlling your TV and other appliances around your home, you know you have a lot of options now. It’s time to say goodbye to the traditional remotes.