Neeo takes on other smart home hubs with its minimalist design and its ability to translate an assortment of common protocol languages -- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, ZigBee,. And, instead of just offering a dedicated Android and iOS app, Neeo also has a physical remote.
While Neeo claims to work with "tens of thousands" of devices, it specifically names, GE, Sonos, , , , Yale, Roku and cable boxes from brands like Comcast and Verizon as fully integrated partners. Still, Neeo hasn't confirmed that these third-parties products actually work with the hub or if they simply fall under the umbrella of compatible protocols, a significant distinction.
Its built-in infrared tech does suggest broad TV and audio compatibility, though, as you can find the same standard across brands like Sony, Samsung, GE, Sharp, Panasonic and Vizio (Actually, Neeo says its hub can work with 55,000 TVs and 19,000 DVD/BlueRay players, but I'll spare you, and myself, from that massive list).
If Neeo delivers on its smart home/entertainment integration promises, it will be a lot more comprehensive than today's "universal remotes."
An entire household worth of gadgets would be accessible from a single source, ensuring that you can control your TV, music player, smart thermostat, lock, lights and more -- all from Neeo's streamlined interface. This sure sounds like good news, as it suggests an end to the annoying app-and-remote-shuffling that inevitably happens as you buy new electronic devices with companion controllers.
The remote itself is made of aluminum and features a 3.2-inch, 480-by-800-pixel touchscreen. Supposedly, the display can distinguish between users based on touch, so your preferred settings should populate whenever you grab the remote. The battery is also designed to last for several months on a single charge and you can set the remote to send out a distress signal (through the app) if it gets lost.
Neeo is new to Kickstarter as of today, so there's plenty of time to snag one. Prices start at $148 for a hub and at $199 for a hub and a remote, with an extra $10 charge for US shipping and an extra $18 charge for international shipping. Availability is slated for March.