The more smart appliances we add to our house, the more remote controls or apps or whatnot we add to our tool belt, which can get pretty confusing at times. There are a few attempts, like SmartThings and Logitech Harmony, to corral them all under one control, but those usually don’t cover those appliances that haven’t made the leap to the smart generation yet. onecue does all of the above with one special feature: it lets you control those appliances, both smart and regular ones, like a Jedi master.
You can probably think of onecue as something like the Xbox Kinect, and to some extent the control bar does make you think of one. But instead of controlling the Xbox, onecue can connect to almost all your appliances to control them. It actually doesn’t matter whether those are smart TVs, a Nest thermostat, or a decade old DVD player. It can do this because it supports both Infrared and WiFi connections, but each have their own limitations.
Like a universal remote, onecue can be “taught” to control appliances that utilize IR for remote control. It does mean it has a wider set of supported appliances, but it also means that your results may vary. It also means that the controlled appliances need to at least be within line of sight from onecue. For those that are located elsewhere or occluded by doors or furniture, there is a repeater included in the package for that very purpose.
WiFi-connected smart appliances might be a bit easier to set up because everything is on the software side. However, the list of supported appliances is shorter but does include a few popular ones, like the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Philips Hue bulb. For all other connectivity needs, like setting up onecue itself, there is also Bluetooth and a micro USB port for those purposes.
onecue is now available for pre-order, with a discounted price of $129.00 from a regular tag of $199. While the front face of the bar itself will always be black to match with a turned off TV, the rest of the body will come in choices of black, blue, white, and red. Shipping is scheduled to start early 2015, with no exact date given yet.