It looks like it belongs on the deck of a Star Trek space ship. It has a colorful touch screen and can practically control every home entertainment device in your networked house. Drooled over by tech enthusiasts and honored with several industry awards since it was announced at CES 2005 in January, the NevoSL universal controller remote from home connectivity specialist Universal Electronics rolled out to custom electronics installers on July 25.
The NevoSL is quite a sight to behold. Its ergonomic body weighs .095 pounds and measures 47.8? x 19.8? x 7.6?. The color LCD touch screen is a 3.5? QVGA TFT which displays at a 320 x 240 resolution. In addition, the NevoSL physically offers up 17 backlit programmable keys and a scrollable wheel. The entire design is sleek, especially as it rests in its recharging cradle.
The primary purpose of the Windows CE powered NevoSL is to control as much home gear of the entertainment genre (as well as IR-controlled home automation devices such as lighting and air conditioning) that it can. The remote offers a number of on-board ways to do this. There?s the built-in IR code database for various brands which can be updated as new products hit the market. 802.11b Wi-Fi allows for on the fly selection and streaming through the networked home of music, pictures and movies stored on a media server or other device. And, as an added bonus when the optional NevoLink IP addressable bridge product is added to any compatible device, IR control can be had of almost anything hidden from view within a cabinet or located in another room.
Image Courtesy of Universal Electronics Inc.
Control of the various choices and combinations, such as instructing the NevoSL to turn on the stereo, television and flip to a certain channel all at the same time, is handled through the customizable keys and graphical on-screen user interface, which can be customized for local languages. Included NevoStudio software allows the GUI to be designed by a custom electronics installer with various images, skins and key layouts. The remote can also learn a specific function on the fly from any other remote.
One of the more interesting features of the NevoSL is its ability to access media on a home network through WiFi. This is accomplished by the remote wirelessly communicating with a Windows XP platform computer and/or working through most UPnP compliant devices. The included NevoMedia software which runs on the computer/media server receives the media request from the remote and pushes the appropriate audio, video or picture content to the desired location within the covered home network. It also displays such things as album art and thumbnail images on the remote?s screen so you know what you are selecting.
More information on the NevoSL universal controller and its functions can be found at the product?s website (http://www.mynevo.com/ ). A list of custom install dealers selling the device can also be searched there. It should be pricing for around $800.