Why are remote-controlled devices so hard to add to the smart home?

Even with all the incredible gadgets we have today, there are a few core appliances that millions of households have come to rely on: ceiling fans, air conditioners, and garage doors. This is especially true in the suburbs, where you’ll find one or two garage doors for every house, and multiple ceiling fans.

Despite how vital they’ve become in our lives, however, these same products are also some of the last to be integrated into the Smart Home ecosystem. The idea of making these products ‘smart’ makes a lot of sense, but smart versions are just now coming into the market and they’re quite expensive – available only to those willing to spend the money.

So what’s the holdup on affordable solutions?

Well, to start, the form and function of these appliances have changed little over the past 30 years, making them a challenge for modern Internet-based devices to handle. The way we activate them – via remote control – has also changed little, and relies on established but older technologies: Infrared (IR) and Radio Frequency (RF).

This is control often relies on proprietary RF, which means that every manufacturer has come up with their own scheme, making things complicated for anyone trying to connect them to Wi-Fi. Applications need to know the codes in advance and that information is very difficult to capture.

Smart home hubs and smart speakers, in contrast, love it when things are simple. They need help from a device that can communicate across a very wide range of frequencies – preferably at very low cost.

If you’ve been following us, you know that this is just what we’ve been working on with the Bond. For an easy $99 you can control up to six devices – ceiling fans, ACs, garage doors, etc. – regardless of the RF or IR remote frequency used. Our patented technology is able to capture the frequency information and connect existing remote-controlled appliances to mobile devices, smart home hubs, and smart speakers. It doesn’t even need these to be brand-specific – any ceiling fan you may have in your home will work through the Bond.

We’ve solved a problem that has dogged Smart Home enthusiasts for years by creating a connection between existing appliances and modern Smart Home devices.