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It’s been a while since Xantech has had a new handheld remote control, so it was a complete surprise to find them exhibiting a brand new color LCD touchscreen model at this year’s show. The new SmartPad LCD Hand-Held Remote Control (or SPLCDURC for short) is described as essentially one of their SmartPad LCD in-wall touchscreens modified into a handheld format.
The SPLCDURC features a 3.9” color touchscreen encased in a glossy black housing. Below the screen there are a number of “subtly embossed” hard buttons, including a “circular touchwheel with cursor function” that looks an awful lot like an up/down/left/right control, plus a row of keys that match up to customizable labels on-screen. Other hardware features include infrared learning and a rechargeable battery with included base station.
Xantech’s new Universal Dragon Drop-IR PC software will be used to configure the remote. This program is an amalgamation of all of the company’s software into one simple interface. Features will include drag-and-drop programming and macros, while the SPLCDURC is capable of customized graphics similar to the in-wall unit. No further specifications or capabilities were revealed.
The SPLCDURC sample we saw at CEDIA was an early prototype unit and looked a little rough around the edges. In addition, the LCD screen used had the tendency to look more passive matrix than active matrix, with muted colors and brightness. The remote should be available in the first quarter of 2006 at an undisclosed price.
|Universal Remote Control Inc.|
As usual, URC’s booth grew several sizes this year – although this time they went upwards rather than outwards. As is also usual, the company was exhibiting a proverbial cornucopia of new remote control products that had us drooling from minute one. Are these guys busy or what!
Unfortunately, beyond providing photographs it’s hard to report with any authority on the exact details of these new products, since the company’s official stance is that nearly everything shown at the show was “concept only” and open to revision. So there were no press releases with which to confirm facts. But that won’t stop us now! However, remember that everything below is subject to change and some products may never actually see the store shelf.