Sony is not really a company that needs to crowdfund its products, but that’s exactly what it has done with the Huis remote controller; and the feedback has been immense.
Equipped with an e-remote display and the ability to control anything from TVs and Blu-ray players to lights and air conditioners, this is Sony’s latest attempt at tackling the universal remote market.
Until now Sony’s universal remotes have been nothing special; in fact, they’ve simply been just an array of buttons that allow users to control all their home entertainment devices. They certainly couldn’t compete with the likes of the recently announced Savant Remote, with all of its home automation smarts, or the current market leader Logitech.
The Huis (pronounced house) could change that however. Thanks to the power of the e-paper display and its ability to integrate with just about any device that would be installed in a typical smart home.
Many universal remotes on the market currently fit the traditional remote design. Sure, some of them like the Logitech Harmony or Savant Remote come equipped with small touchscreens, but they’re always flanked with countless buttons like a traditional remote. That’s not true of the Huis however, which has ditched all the buttons in favour of an e-paper display.
Sony describes the Huis as a remote that ‘fits’ the customer that is using it. The e-paper display can be completely customised dependent on how the user wants to use it. Users can change the layout and design of the UI on the remote itself or by using a PC App – which gives them even greater control. Sony will also make available customised configurations that users can download and share online.
The beauty of an e-paper display is that it uses very little power, unlike an LCD screen or simply just an App on someone’s smartphone. It can also showcase the buttons at all times, rather than forcing users to unlock the device each time they want to use it.
The Huis is not a product that would typically be associated with Sony, but its crowdfunded First Flight platform allows the company’s engineers to experiment with new ideas that under normal circumstances wouldn’t make it past the drawing board.
Unfortunately, while the Huis has made it past the drawing board there’s no confirmation as to whether it will make it past the Japanese border. For those in Japan deliveries are set to arrive from next month with the device itself costing around £175.