Samsung has developed a new remote to replace all others.
Dubbed the Samsung Smart Control, the remote is based on the company’s Tizen operating system, a mobile platform it’s developed to run on everything from televisions to smartphones. The idea behind Smart Control is simple: to be the only remote anyone would need to watch content in the home.
“The Samsung Smart Control remote serves as a single control unit for nearly all devices connected to a Samsung Smart TV, eliminating the need for multiple remote controls,” Samsung said in a statement Monday. “For a TV with more than three external devices connected, on average, the Smart Control remote will consolidate multiple remote controls into one, seamless device.”
The unveiling was part of a broader announcement ahead of this week’s CES 2016. The event is the biggest of the year for the technology industry, providing companies the opportunity to show off their latest technologies. In addition to the Smart Control, Samsung (SSNLF) also announced improvements to its television interface and promised more announcements.
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Smart Control is, at its heart, a universal remote. However, the device takes the idea one step further. Instead of requiring users to input codes for devices, Smart Control immediately determines which products are connected to a Samsung television and automatically takes control. The remote can then map the respective device’s functions to its buttons.
A core component of Smart Control’s features is its ability to work with a wide range of devices. Cable and satellite boxes will of course work with the remote, but Samsung says consumers should also expect it to control everything from game consoles to Blu-ray players. Samsung says the remote can also control other “connected devices,” but it didn’t specify what those other products may be.
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Regardless, Samsung is now competing with Logitech (LOGI) and other universal remote makers who try to eliminate the mess of remotes sitting in an entertainment center. The company has not said, however, how much Smart Control will cost, when it will be available, and whether it will ship with its new line of televisions or separately.
Ultimately, Samsung seems to desire control of the home through its televisions. In addition to allowing users to control devices connected to their Samsung televisions through Smart Control, Samsung announced last week that its 2016 line of devices will be Internet of Things (IoT) ready. In other words, its televisions will be able to connect to smart home products like lights, thermostats, and cameras, and control them through the television.
For Samsung, at least, the television is once again trying to become the center of the home.