xRemote: The Next Generation Smart Home Experience
xRemote: The Next Generation Smart Home Experience
Experience the next generation smart home system integrating universal remote control, indoor locating, and intelligent learning.
Experience the next generation smart home system integrating universal remote control, indoor locating, and intelligent learning. Read more
About this project
What is xRemote?
xRemote is a new type of home automation and universal remote control system will transform your home into a smart home. It combines all your remote controls and smart devices into one easy-to-use system that is linked to your smartphone or tablet. It also detects where you are in the house and turn your lights on accordingly. It can even simplify your control by learning your habits.
There are three models in xRemote product line, the Gateway, the Mini, and the Switch. The Gateway is our all-encompassing product. It communicates with your devices and the remote that gives you instant control of your home using the xRemote App on your phone from anywhere in the world. The Mini is a smaller device that controls just infrared devices in the room where it's placed. The Switch adds smart light control by replacing a traditional light switch. It is also a presence detector that enables the indoor location based features.
Our team has spent months on the R&D to provide the device peak level of compatibility, everything from Nest thermostat, wearable devices, infrared devices to light switches and more. We also setup a cloud code database that can quickly pair your infrared devices without any complicated setup.
Modern technology has taken control of homes across the globe. The smart home is here, but we need to take CTRL of our household appliances and devices. Our product line, xRemote, does just that.
The dream of controlling your home and life with one simple controller is here with xRemote. With one simple tap of a screen, the everyday person can take advantage of the technology that surrounds them.
We have done all the hard work: writing the algorithms, connecting devices that speak different languages, simplifying the user experience to make it as easy a touch of a button. This next generation of smart technology gives YOU the ability to control your home technology like never before.
The xRemote is Simply Smart.
- Universal Remote Control: You no longer have to look for the specific controller or specific apps to operate certain appliances. You can now control all appliances and smart systems from just ONE remote controller: your smartphone.
- Full Signal Coverage: Simply put the xRemote on your coffee table and it will cover all appliances. The RF protocol used will provide full house coverage connecting our products no matter how many walls are between.
- Long Distance Control: You can use your smartphone to control your home appliances even when you are thousands miles away from home anytime you have access to the internet.
Preset Control: With the preset theme mode like morning/sleeping mode, theater mode and party mode, your life will be much more easier. By just clicking a button, the xRemote will execure a series of preset command automatically.
- Indoor Location: The hardware of the xRemote series contains a Bluetooth chip that allows it to connect to any device that has Bluetooth capabilities like your phone. Now our system can detect where you are in the house, and turn on the nearest light for you. With the BLE tags, you can also check where is your pet or your wallet.
- Geo-fence Automation: The xRemote utilizes the GPS in your phone to detect whether you have left home or not. The system will switch between Home Mode and Away Mode based on your distance from home. This also allows our system to push notification to you when there is a situation in your house.
- Simple to Use: It can be easily set up within 5 steps.Download the smartphone app, plug in the xRemote, connect the xRemote to your home Wi-Fi, add all appliances and devices, and then let xRemote learn and record all infrared control instructions. It shouldn’t be any more difficult than setting up a wireless router. The smartphone app user interface is simple and easy to use.
- Customizable Product Lines: Don’t have a need for all the features of the xRemote? We got you covered! The xRemote Mini is a smaller device for purposes of just controlling IR devices within one room, and it looks just like the Gateway. In addition, the xRemote Switch will serve as a smart light switch, enabling the indoor location based features. We are adapting to our customers, giving them only what they want and need. Simply smart.
For any traditional infrared remote controller, when you press a key, a sequence of code is sent to the appliance, which then identifies the instruction and function accordingly. The sequence of code will be unique for different appliances and different commands. The xRemote will learn and record all the codes for appliances in your home and thus will be able to control any of your home appliances.
The xRemote product contains a Wi-Fi module, which is connected to the home wireless router. This allows for communication between your smartphone and xRemote. The xRemote contains an Infrared receiver and transmitters in order to learn and send infrared signals. Multiple infrared emitters are implemented to cover all directions and make sure the infrared signals are strong. Before use, you need to take your remote controllers and follow instructions from the smartphone app while pointing it at the xRemote to synchronize the different appliances. The xRemote will learn all the commands and record the codes forever. The codes are stored on your smartphone through the Wi-Fi connection.
Once the initial setup is complete, the smartphone app will be able to control aspects of the xRemote and the appliances that were successfully paired. The xRemote technology permits you to add appliances at any time to the hub so do not fret if no technology is purchased. As the industry continues to grow, smart appliances will be prevalent and present all over homes.
When using the app on your smartphone to control appliances, your phone will send the sequence of code through network or Wi-Fi, which will be received by xRemote device. The xRemote device will then respond and send the sequence of code through infrared transmitters that can be received by appliances.
The Gateway is our all-encompassing product. It gives you CTRL of everything in your home, throughout different rooms, from anywhere in the world. The Gateway is Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IR, and RF433 compatible. But if you need another language, no problem!
The Switch is for all those people who want to experience how the seamless indoor location and contextual controls can change your way of life. It is a smart touch screen switch which is easy to install and setup. With the Switch in each of your rooms, the xRemote system can detect which room you are entering/leaving, and turn on/off the light for you automatically.
The idea of building a smart home system that connects everything together was originated in the summer of 2013. xRemote became a school project and also an independent research project at Cornell University in December, 2013. Since then, we have been working on our xRemote project for over 10 months. In June 2014, we started to integrate the indoor locating technology to the system.
All electrical and industrial designs are complete and ready for launch. We have built and tested individual modules and all functionalities have been successfully implemented. We are currently at the final stage of building our first working prototype and are also working on creating the smartphone app. The two will be completed in time for beta testing together by the end of Q1 next year.
Security issues are our top concern when designing xRemote. We will make sure no one but only you can control your appliances and devices as our engineers are working diligently to ensure that infrared incoming and outgoing signals cannot be tampered with. The security of our customer’s home is a top priority.
Demo - Infrared Control
Demo - Preset Theme Control
We have spent a lot of time designing a simple and intuitive product. The finalized design was chosen from a selection of 8 initial drafts. The cubic design is elegant and compact with dimensions of 10 cm by 10 cm by 4 cm. You will certainly feel satisfied with placing xRemote on top of your coffee table with its sleek, compact build.
We've gone through numerous tests and have overcome many technical challenges. Our biggest challenge is setting up our manufacturing line and figuring out our supply chain logistics.
We've come so far, but there's still more to be done. Your support will help us get there. Your pledges will help us finish the following tasks:
- Test and finalize the prototype.
- Securing certifications
- Complete the PCB design and order mass PCBs and components.
- Complete the packaging design and order packaging.
- Complete reliability and stress testing.
- Complete Android/iOS app and submit to Play Store/App Store.
The Platform Solution to a Smart Home
In our big plan, xRemote Gateway will be the foundation and starting point for our smart home platform. With the successful launch of xRemote line of product into the smart home market, we’ll immediately start R&D for accessory products like a smart plug, a smart BLE tag and smart module which can be easily integrated into other smart products to make the home a smooth and smart Ctrl X platform. Together with xRemote, these products will be able to connect and control all of the home appliances.
It is our goal to integrate all household control into a mobile app that can be controlled by a smartphone. We are taking complicated technology and making it simply smart. User friendly is our goal! This is a big step in the future of the smart home and we are hoping you can help us achieve our goal giving you CTRL.
We ship worldwide. For single products, shipping within the US is $5 international is $10. For home packages, shipping within the US is $15 international is $20.
Risks and challenges
MASS PRODUCTION & CERTIFICATION
Building a prototype is exciting and the beginning we hoped for. However, to get to the next level, we will have to mass produce the product. Production will take time and be costly. In addition, getting certifications of the safety of the product is a challenge that Ctrl X will face. Our experience and connections to experienced members in the industry in the US and China will give us the advice and guidance necessary to make it happen.
SOFTWARE AND FIRMWARE ENGINEERING
Many difficulties lie ahead in producing a line of products that are efficient and user friendly. Our team of software, electrical, and industrial design engineers are primed and ready to bring our plan to life. The process we have taken in drafting different designs and testing our products has given us the ability to build the best product that we know. We want a product that is perfectly what customers want.
The goal of the xRemote line is to give you the ability to control as many devices as possible in your home. We understand certain devices do not "communicate" through one of the languages we have equipped the line of products to communicate with. Major companies such as Belkin, Phillips, Nest, and more have open API's that we work with. But there still many devices that we could not cover at this time. We will try out best to contact these manufacturers to see if they can provide developer kit to us. We want a device that truly connects your entire home, giving you CTRL.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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