Control4 announced today the launch of the Neeo Remote for Control4, the first product from their acquisition of the Swiss company Neeo back in February 2019. This new Neeo remote control is optimized to work seamlessly with Control4’s OS 3 operating system, offering another elegant system control interface.
See more on the new Neeo remote control…
At first glance, the new Neeo remote control looks well designed – sleek and elegant with a 3.2″ high-res color touchscreen that occupies about the top 40% or so of the remote, and a select number of just a few hard keys that will be very familiar with users of more traditional remotes controls occupying the middle and lower sections of the body of the remote. While certainly attractive, it is not unlike some other similar highly stylized remotes on the market.
The real magic of this remote is that the company has designed it to work seamlessly with their OS 3 operating system, making it even more intuitive for current users of Control4’s latest software. In a prepared announcement, Control4 said, “Neeo is the first Control4 handheld remote to combine the benefits of hard buttons and a touchscreen.” That may be a first for Control4, but it is hardly a first for the industry.
Optimized for OS 3, Neeo Just Feels Good in Your Hand
But the company is banking on the fact that this is a remote that is optimized to work with your Control4 OS 3 system, whether one being newly installed…or one that is already existing.
Company executives noted the superlative tactile feel of its slim design and balanced construction that makes the remote just feel good in your hand. Made out of aluminum, it not only looks elegant but feels solid and durable – and much more substantial than the plastic molded remotes produced by many of its competitors.
The unit comes with a charging base that is a simple, understated (weighted) circle that stands the remote upright as it charges. The company says that Neeo will run for five days on a full charge.
A Balance Between Buttons and Touchscreen
The touchscreen is said to be bright, clear and colorful. Current Control4 OS 3 users will recognize the bright and upfront “favorites” icons, offering one touch access to family favorite stations or activities. A simple swipe to the right takes the user to a screen showing all system video sources such as a Blu-ray player, video games system, Dish Network, and more.
Along with the touchscreen, Neeo also includes hard keys for common, well-defined tasks such as power, mute, volume, menu, and back buttons. As well there is a selection wheel and an “OK” or select button for easy navigation. Coupling the hard keys for common functions with the touchscreen for one-touch access to favorites and other functions is all designed to make system control simpler and more intuitive for the end-user.
Connect to Wi-Fi and Neeo is Ready to Go
The unit connects to the system via Wi-fi, and once connected it is instantly and automatically ready to interface with the existing Control4 controller to fully operate that specific system with no additional setup or programming by the consumer…or by the integrator. That’s right, Control4 says a consumer can walk into a Control4 Certified Showroom, buy the remote over the counter, take it home and with a simple Wi-Fi connection it is completely ready to intuitively operate their entire installation.
Available now only through Control4 Smart Home Pros, the Neeo Remote for Control4 comes in two different finishes – a silver finish and a black finish – and sells for $600 MSRP. The company notes that their previous universal remote control, the SR-260, remains in their line with a $330 MSRP.
A ‘Unified Experience’ That is ‘Highly Personal’
In a preview to the media, Charlie Kindel, SnapAV’s chief product and technology officer talked about how Neeo supports the company’s strategy of providing a unified smart home interface experience across all forms of control devices, such as their “7- and 10-inch tabletop/on-wall touchscreens, our keypads which are programmable, our handheld remote controls, our mobile apps that we build for iOS and Android, and our interface that we provide on the television that we refer to as our on-screen interface.”
This is a key element of Control4’s overall strategy, Kindel told the media. “The Control 4 smart home operating system delivers a unified experience across the entire home that is highly personal.”
“The experience that Control4 and the Control4 smart home operating system provides is one that unifies all of the smart home experiences for the family across the entire home. It works with tens of thousands of 3rd party products that get tightly integrated in, and Control4 smart home OS provides a unified interface for the entire family, across lighting, across home entertainment – whether audio or video – safety and security and surveillance, comfort with thermostats, we have a distributed music system that is best-in-class for multiroom music with synchronized rooms around the house and the ability to send music anywhere in the home and be able to control it easily – all from this unified customer experience that the Smart Home OS3 provides. And that interface is available through all of these customer interfaces – touch, voice, and handheld.”Charlie Kindel, SnapAV chief product & technology officer
To understand Control4’s enthusiasm for this new Neeo remote, you need to understand that what makes it truly unique in their eyes is the way it fully integrates with their new OS 3 operating system. “And today, we’re introducing Neeo, which is a touchscreen remote control that delivers the most highly refined control of entertainment and smart home devices through the Control4 smart home OS 3 platform.”
It’s All About Removing Complexity
When it comes to talking about the smart home experience, what Control4 hears from users, Kindel says, “It’s all about removing complexity. We are hearing…as smart home continues to take off and explode…customers complain about smart home fatigue. Customers just want to get the benefit that smart home technology provides – they want to get the value of the experiences – they don’t want to become I.T. administrators in their home, having to futz with their technology all of the time. And that’s what a smart home operating system does, it delivers something that removes all of that complexity.”
To be successful, a smart home system should present an interface based on experiences…not just based on devices, Kindel said. He illustrated this by saying that a device-based approach means a customer wants to control a light…but actually, what they want is the experience of making a room brighter.
“We remain steadfastly committed to the professionally installed smart home,” Kindel proclaimed to journalists.
See more on the new Neeo for Control4…
Learn more about Control4’s other products or locate your nearest smart home professional at: control4.com.