The touch panel on Sevenhugs’ Smart Remote changes to match the smart home appliance, light or system it is pointing at.
For smart home control, there is still nothing simpler than a remote or panel with physical buttons. Smartphones are convenient for remote access to a smart home, but app-based solutions can be complicated for other users. That's why some companies are trying to make the remote a central gateway to the smart home.
Some makers choose to emphasize simplicity and style like crowdfunded Turn touch that was designed as a wooden controller with just four square buttons on the top. Other companies, though, have a different approach. An example is Sevenhugs’ Smart Remote that uses a touchscreen that adapts its controls to whatever device it's being pointed at. This is achieved using wall-mounted sensors that are programmed to know what is where in a room. Then when the remote is pointed at a smart TV, it can pull up standard TV remote buttons. When pointed at a smart light, it might have a slider to control colors and brightness.
Sevenhugs has come up with a clever design that gives people more control than just a blank four-button remote. It's a little more complicated to set up, though. It also requires more power and has a USB-C dock to keep it charged up, although a single charge could keep the remote working for up to two days.
The Sevenhugs Smart Remote is also more expensive for obvious reasons. It will retail for $299 when it comes out in the fall.