The Apple iPhone is the best-selling product of all time with 2.38 billion units sold (To Q1, 2023). Since its debut in 2007, its simple touch screen has redefined the way we control and interact with technology. Almost every mobile phone on sale today uses a similar screen and stacked user interface icons for the simple reason that they work incredibly well, although Google has fought its way to the top of the user interfaces.
This is why a range of different smart home control designers have tried to bring the same interface to their smart controllers with varying degrees of success.
AVA stands in the lead at the more successful end of the spectrum with their home remote, which integrates the Google user interface and Play Store. This means anyone who can use a mobile phone can more or less use the AVA.
First and foremost, this controller manages to be massively flexible and yet incredibly simple when set up correctly. For smart technology integrators like us, products that can achieve this feat of fine balancing are to be treasured.
AVA designed the device with one thing in mind above all else – freedom. In their words, “We want you to have choice, instead of being locked into proprietary solutions … Install any of your favourite smart home apps and enjoy a game-changing experience.”
As with most modern phones, application and function icons can be laid out in any arrangement for easy use and memorisation. Furthermore, a wide range of widgets allow for easy control of multiple appliances and systems from one screen.
The intent is that the user (or their integrator) can design the interface their own way. They can pick from a wide range of options to create a control system that works for them and feels like it is uniquely theirs. Overall, it’s easy to see that the team has worked hard to ensure this is so and the outcome is genuinely impressive. Personalisation feels real and fundamental, rather than plastic and tacked on.
Because the remote runs Google Play, it can work with a practically unlimited range of apps and devices picked by the user. And internal power won’t limit its functionality either, thanks to a 4-Core, 2Ghz processor and (reported) six days of battery life.
When the battery does run low, the remote snaps easily into a stylish recharge point with the help of easy fitting and guiding magnets.
In addition to the touch screen, the AVA Home Remote has a microphone and speaker for voice control and intercom
If we wanted to sound all intellectual and avante garde, we might say that the AVA Home Remote wraps the complexity of the modern smart home and the convolution of a user interface that can show and do almost everything, in a minimalist outer shell.
If we wanted to sound less pompous, we could say that it looks like a mobile with an extra bit stuck on the bottom. It’s hard to say much more than that. If you’re familiar with the modern mobile, you’ll know that we mean one side of the AVA is covered in a hardened glass touch screen. Meanwhile, the rest can be finished in attractive matte black or burnished metallic. It’s obviously meant to be noticed but taken for granted. Which is perfect for the premium smart homes of today.
The AVA Cinema Remote and Nano Brain
The Home Remote isn’t the only intelligent, flexible control product offered by AVA. The Cinema Remote incorporates 3D-formed glass so you don’t have to look down when using it during a movie and the Nano Brain control hub has 360-degree infra-red connectivity. It’s these shrewd little additions that make AVA control systems stand out from the competition.
We can really get on board with what the AVA team say about not being ‘locked into proprietary solutions’. It’s hard to keep track of the number of times the Baker Stone team has been held back by the limitations of proprietary control systems, so something like this is an important addition to the market.
When you’re integrating a wide range of tech and creating bespoke outcomes, flexible yet simple control solutions like the AVA Home Remote and its siblings are invaluable. This will be almost as true for individuals crafting their own smart home systems as for us integrators.