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Sevenhugs' dumber, cheaper Smart Remote U takes on Logitech

The Smart Control U and X offer universal remote control with or without the "contextual awareness" which lets you operate the device you're pointing at.

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The Smart Remote U and X.

Sevenhugs

One could argue that remote controls are in the process of going away thanks to voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa. Logitech, the industry leader in universal remote controls, has noted this and even incorporates Alexa into its latest Harmony Express.

For those who still hold affection for the venerable, no-voice clicker there are still some options out there. One of the wackiest is the Sevenhugs Smart Remote which uses "contextual awareness," via a series of stick-on sensors, to tell what you're pointing the remote at and then controlling it.

A spokesperson for Sevenhugs has clarified that while the products don't currently support Alexa or Google Assistant "the Sevenhugs remotes are voice enabled for future integrations with home systems".

Read more: Best universal remotes of 2019

I haven't used the Smart Remote but it's still unclear how the system would control components stacked on top of one another in an AV rack. If you a) don't want to stick sensors on your walls or b) want to save a little bit of money, the newest version could be for you.

The original Smart Remote is now the Smart Remote X ($299) and this makes way for the Smart Remote U ($199), which is more akin to the Logitech universal remotes. It doesn't have the sensors, but the remote lets you swipe through your devices and control the one you want.

The Smart Remote prototype my colleagues saw at CES 2016 only controlled three devices, but now the number of devices has grown to 650,000. Both devices have a touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and can learn new devices via infrared. Set up the Sevenhugs Smart Remotes via the Smart Remote app for iOS and Android.

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Sevenhugs Smart Remote (Black)
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