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Remote 3 universal remote control comes with touchscreen, but without subscription or server obligation

The Remote 3 controls smart TVs as well as smart home devices. (Image: Unfolded Circle)
The Remote 3 controls smart TVs as well as smart home devices. (Image: Unfolded Circle)
Unfolded Circle is introducing a universal remote control, the Remote 3, that can control smart home devices as well as smart TVs without the need for a server or subscription fees. The remote control can be customized in a variety of ways.

Since the demise of Logitech's popular Harmony remote controls, the market for high-quality universal remote controls has been fragmented at best. Unfolded Circle aims to avoid the fate of the Harmony Ultimate by eliminating any server obligations or subscriptions from the 9.7 millimeter thin metal remote control.

Instead, the setup takes place via a web user interface that synchronizes the remote control directly with the home WiFi network. In addition to a series of buttons with RGB lighting, the remote control also has a touch-sensitive slider that can be used to precisely adjust the volume or brightness of a lamp, among other things, as well as a high-resolution touchscreen.

This not only displays the current playback, but also enables virtual buttons to be displayed across several screens, the arrangement of which can be freely selected by the user. The remote control is based on a specially adapted Linux system, with Unfolded Circle installing a quad-core ARM processor, 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage. Unfolded OS even supports multiple user profiles with different configurations, sequences and macros.

WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.2 and infrared allow for the control of numerous devices. Microphones and speakers make it possible to use a voice assistant, while a gyroscope and an acceleration sensor automatically activate the display as soon as the remote control is picked up and also allow the remote control to be used as an air mouse. An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness of the buttons and the display.

Remote 3 can be charged wirelessly via the accompanying docking station. A list of currently compatible devices can be found on the manufacturer's website. These include devices based on Android TV, Apple TV 4K, Philips Hue, Roku, Roon, Sonos and LG Smart TVs. As the system is likely to be expanded by independent developers, the list will continue to grow until delivery. It should be possible to learn infrared codes from other remote controls by the end of the year.

Price and availability

Remote 3 will be funded on Kickstarter from June 21, where the universal remote control can be pre-ordered for €279; a bundle with the charging dock costs €299 in the “Early Bird” offer. The remote control will be available in stores for €349, or for €449 with the dock. The device is manufactured in Europe.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 06 > Remote 3 universal remote control comes with touchscreen, but without subscription or server obligation
Hannes Brecher, 2024-06-12 (Update: 2024-06-12)