The fight over who holds the remote may take on a new form if a Kickstarter campaign is successful enough to make the standard cable and satellite TV remote an obsolete relic.
Sideclick, a universal remote that attaches to existing popular streaming box remotes, like that of the Apple TV, Roku, Nexus Player and Fire TV, is designed to make those work with standard set-top boxes. Using infrared and sporting no more than eight buttons, the device snaps onto the streaming box remote, rendering your TV remote non-essential.
Since streaming remotes were never designed to interface with TVs, Sideclick fills a gap that simplifies control over both devices. With only eight buttons, however, the snap-on device can’t cover all the extra features usually included on cable and satellite remotes, but the basics of power on/off, volume, channel and essential navigation would be.
In effect, Sideclick makes a better TV remote replacement than the cable or satellite one, so it’s an interesting option for cord-cutters who don’t have cable to begin with. With a universal design that’s easily removable, it also wouldn’t matter if a user had a few streaming devices in use at home — including in different rooms.
Adapter clips will be made available to accommodate new streaming devices and their newly-designed remotes. Pairing Sideclick with a TV remote is reportedly as easy as pointing their respective IR blasters at each other “and pressing a few buttons.” Any of the eight buttons can also be programmed to perform different tasks, like the channel up button acting as a guide or back button, depending on the TV it’s connected with.
The initial batch of units appear to be sold out, with a single model selling for as low as $21, though regular retail pricing may be closer to $30. Delivery is slated for December for early backers, and no word on general availability beyond that.