[CES] Funai Unveils Android-based Universal Remote Control

Jan 15, 2010
Yasushi Uchida, Nikkei Electronics
The "I-Remote" universal remote control allows access to the Internet and can be used as a multimedia device.
The "I-Remote" universal remote control allows access to the Internet and can be used as a multimedia device.
[Click to enlarge image]

Funai Electric Co Ltd showcased a universal remote control that is based on Android, a software platform developed by Google Inc, at a hotel near the exhibition site of the 2010 International CES.

This is the first time that the company has exhibited the remote control, the "I-Remote," and it plans to reflect the feedback from visitors in the product development.

Funai developed the multifunctional multimedia device by using Android 1.5, DLNA software and so forth.

The size of its touch-sensitive screen is 7 inches. When the name of a TV manufacturer is selected on the menu screen, an operation panel for the TVs made by the manufacturer appears.

Equipped with a WiFi module, the remote control allows access to the Internet. And it can also be used as a digital photo frame that shows pictures and movies stored on an SD card.

Furthermore, it is possible to use the remote control as a DLNA client for a home network, for example, to play movie clips stored on a PC connected to the network on a TV. Funai is considering adding a video-conference function based on Skype in the future.

The company plans to release the I-Remote within 2010 at a price of less than US$300.