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| Universal Electronics|
The buzz this year over at UEI’s display – which was conveniently located at an unpublicized site outside the convention center – was over their new Kameleon remote control. This super-slim remote is just like a touchscreen, but actually has tactile feedback. In addition, the whole concept of separate backlighting isn’t necessary as the whole display is a light in itself. Think of it as an EL backlight crossed with LCD technology. Instead of using an EL to backlight shapes and characters created by an LCD screen, with the Kameleon the backlight is used to form the characters. The result is a remote with “buttons” that simply jump out at you – the illuminated graphics are truly unique and eye catching.
The Kameleon is also capable of creating multi-colored graphics and some basic animation, but so far is limited in the number of items it can display – everything’s fixed, unlike on a graphical dot matrix display where new graphics and text can be created on the fly. I would love to see this technology develop further into a true graphical format, but from some of the details I gleaned while talking with UEI this may take some time.
Initially available in Europe under the One For All brand name, a version designed for the North American market will be sold exclusively by Radio Shack. When? Soon.
Sima was showing two new touchscreen remote controls this year – the SUR-25 and SUR-35. Although at first they appear physically identical on the outside, some differences are apparent in specifications.
First off, the SUR-25 is a 10-device remote control with up to 55 touchscreen buttons per device and 9 in-device hard buttons. The remote is learning capable with a range of 10kHz to 125kHz and 455kHz, and features 256kb of memory. The large customizable touchscreen is backlit by green LEDs. Other features include preprogrammed codes, up to 100 macros with 60 steps each, up to 50 quick channel macros, plus timers. The SUR-35 ups the number of devices controlled to 16 and provides blue backlighting along with a USB PC interface with programming software.
Although no pricing information was given at the show, I’d expect the SUR-25 to sell in the $80-120 range.