Smart Home

The Savant Universal Remote Control Is Voice-Activated

By Paul Pajarillo , Oct 15, 2015 01:24 AM EDT

Savant is looking to challenge Logitech's remote systems by unveiling its own version of a universal remote control. Unlike Logitech, Savant's remote has a very unique voice control feature.

Logitech's Harmony has been out in the market for a very long time. It has been one of the dominant control systems for everything, from lights to home theatres. Savant is thinking of ending its monopoly with the release of its $500 voice-activated universal remote control.

Looking a lot like Logitech's Harmony Ultimate, Savant's version has a LED touchscreen located at the top of the remote control and with all those complicated-looking push buttons located at the bottom. It also communicates with a host, or hub, that transfers commands through its wireless infrared blaster.

The most outstanding characteristic of Savant's universal remote control is its voice activation. Located in the middle of the remote is a large mic icon, like the ones people see on Google Talk on their smartphones and tablets. People can press the mic icon and speak to the remote what they want to watch on television and the remote will automatically direct them right through it.

Also, the remote has Sonos integration. Details of the users' favourite music will appear directly on the control's LED screen like album artwork, artist name, music genre, and music titles while playing it on their home audio systems. It can also do voice searches so no need to scan and scroll music on file systems, though the remote's screen can also be used for that particular function. It also works with an Android and iOS smartphone app that permits remote owners create individual profiles for family members.

Though Logitech's version can work with a wide range of smart home apparatus, Savant is looking for greater integration other than home devices, like air-conditioning, locks, and thermostats.

In comparison to price, Savant's version is US$50 expensive versus Logitech's Harmony Elite. With voice activation and its LED screen, Savant's remote could be worth it. The remote will be out on BestBuy and Magnolia by the Holiday Season at a price of US$499.

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