xRemote: Simple and Smooth Experience from the Next Generation Smart Home Platform

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A newly-developed home automation system from Ctrl X brings together modern technology with one of the oldest technologies for making life simpler—infrared remotes. Now, the developers are looking for crowdfunding to help get the system into people's homes.

We see the potential of how indoor location and intelligent learning will change people's way of life, and we are trying to make these features available to more people through our platform.

A newly-developed home automation system brings together modern technology with one of the oldest technologies for making life simpler—infrared remotes. Now, the developers are looking for crowdfunding (http://kck.st/1CbWExr) to help get the system into people's homes.

The xRemote system from Ctrl X uses a central hub to allow homeowners to use smartphones to control numerous devices in their home via both infrared and Wi-Fi. This allows a single control method for both modern smart devices and older home appliances that use remote control sensors. In effect, xRemote combines an automated home hub with a universal remote control.

As well as a dedicated smartphone app, the system has three physical components. The xRemote Gateway is the main hub, passing on commands to all smart devices in the home, plus infrared devices in the room where it's placed. Additional xRemote Minis will each relay commands to infrared devices in their respective rooms, while the xRemote Switch adds lighting control by replacing a traditional light switch.

In addition to passing on the user's commands, the system acts as an "intelligent housekeeper."(http://kck.st/1CbWExr) It will learn patterns of behavior, such as switching lights and devices on and off at particular times and then automates the process. It can also switch lights off when all user smartphones have left the room and send alerts if a user has left home while leaving a device turned on, allowing homeowners to turn them off—or not—via mobile app. The system also has an indoor locating feature that can detect where the user is in the home and automatically switch on the nearest light.

Finally, through GPS tracking in smartphones, the xRemote system can be set to automatically adjust lighting and heating and cooling sources as users return home.

The concept was initially developed by a 2014 research team at Cornell University. The system is currently under further development and the company has just launched a Kickstarter campaign (http://kck.st/1CbWExr) to fund their innovative idea for smart home owners.

Ctrl X co-founder, Georald Xu, explained: "We see the potential of how indoor location and intelligent learning will change people's way of life, and we are trying to make these features available to more people through our platform."

The xRemote system supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, Radio Frequency and infrared. It's powered by micro-USB power cables, keeping energy consumption to a minimum. For added compatibility, the initial device design has a spare PCB slot for a future upgrade to support the ZigBee specification for home data transfer and automation control.

About Ctrl X (http://ctrlx.org):

Ctrl X is a startup company dedicated to the development of Wi-Fi communication modules, cloud computing platforms and mobile terminal applications under the Internet of Things architecture. Their first product, the xRemote series, will introduce a new lifestyle that will revolutionize the home technology industry. The xRemote product line opens the door to connecting an entire home through one device. It's an important milestone in the realization of smart home technology.

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Georald Xu
@CtrlX_Tech
since: 02/2014
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Ctrl X Technology
since: 04/2014
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