Universal Electronics' NevoSL WiFi-Equipped Touchscreen Remote Buckhannon WV
Oak Hill, WV
Universal Electronics' NevoSL WiFi-Equipped Touchscreen Remote
December 1, 2005 By Scott Wasser
It cannot wash the car. It will not vacuum the floors. Nor have I been able to get it to floss my teeth—although I am trying make that happen. Otherwise, the NevoSL home controller does just about everything, at least in terms of controlling a home’s electronic entertainment equipment—and all with the greatest of ease. Just ask my mother-in-law.
Mom is one of the kindest women I know, but she validates every joke ever told by a comedian about mothers-in-law. After the hugs and kisses that begin her visits, she finds something to pick on. Lately, it has been the collection of remotes that control my home theater. The only thing I have ever seen her attempt to watch is the Home Shopping Network, for which I usually preset the satellite tuner and TV input before she arrives. All she needs to do is press one button on the television or its remote, but she is not happy unless she picks up five remotes, presses 20 or 30 buttons, and then whines about how she can’t get anything to work.
Simple icons allow even tech illiterates to select favorite sources easily. NevoSL can also display digital photos from a networked computer, although we cannot figure out why you would want to do that. (Click images enlarge)
A week or two before her most recent visit, a technician from manufacturer Universal Electronics arrives with a NevoSL, and using his laptop computer, programs it to work with all my home theater components. When Mom arrives, all the other remotes are hidden away. In their place sits the NevoSL. Mom is frazzled. “Where are the remotes? What’s this?” she demands, sneering at the NevoSL, which in its cradle looks more like a piece of avant-garde art than a remote control. “And what are you supposed to do with it?”
What you’re supposed to do with it is almost anything a high-end touchscreen remote such as a Crestron or AMX can do. Its makers claim that the NevoSL controls any audio/video device in the home from any place in the home. Given the right accessories and connections, these claims are not far-fetched. For example, the NevoSL’s 3.5-inch LCD screen can display all the MP3 files on the PC in your office, enable you to create a playlist with Windows Media Player, then play it in the den through a network media player (such as a Roku SoundBridge) connected to your receiver.
My mother-in-law wouldn’t know a playlist from Play-Doh, but she’s impressed with the NevoSL. “No, it’s not a little TV,” I patiently explain, “but there is an image of a little TV on it. Go ahead and touch it.”Acting as though I were asking her to milk a cobra, she begrudgingly holds out her hand. As her fingers wrap around the NevoSL’s sensuous curves, Mom tries putting on her best prune-face, but has difficulty maintaining it. The makers say the remote was painstakingly designed to fit any human...