As our homes get filled with more and more smart devices, a universal method of controlling them all is slowing becoming more and more important. Some solutions, like Amazon’s Alexa, involve using voice commands. Others, like the Sevenhugs smart remote, feature a touchscreen to automatically adapt to whatever it is you’re pointing at.
The Turn Touch remote is far less technically advanced than either of those two examples. But what it lacks in functionality, it more than makes up for in elegant style, with a beautiful wood exterior that makes it look like something I wouldn’t mind having lying around my living room.
Instead of voice or touchscreen interactions, the Turn Touch has four programmable buttons that can be customized with a macOS or iOS app. While that’s not a huge number for a universal remote, the logic behind the Turn Touch is that each button would be programmed for multiple settings — for example, a nighttime button would turn off music, dim the lights, lock your smart lock, and adjust your thermostat. Additionally, holding down each button brings up a virtual “app” of four more buttons.
The Turn Touch is a bit more limited than other smart home remotes when it comes to supported services, too. While the big players (Sonos, Hue, Belkin WeMo, and Nest) are all covered, along with Mac controls, it’s definitely worth checking to see whether your gear is compatible before you back.
But even with all the limitations, the Turn Touch is just really, really nice looking. It comes in three options: mahogany with maple buttons, padauk with satinwood buttons, and rosewood with sycamore buttons, all of which look great. A mother-of-pearl logo is embossed on the back, and the two halves of the remote are held together with neodymium magnets to allow easy access to the CR2032 coin cell battery, which the company claims lasts 365 days on a charge.
The Turn Touch is largely the work of one man, Samuel Clay, which definitely is something to consider, given that Clay hasn’t shipped any widely released products yet. But the Turn Touch does appear to be functional, and Clay is offering a $799 tier where you’ll receive a handmade version of each of the three remote styles in March, along with three more production models when they hopefully ship in November.
The Turn Touch remote is available to back on Kickstarter, with $79 getting a mahogany model, with the rosewood and padauk versions costing $99. Clay hopes to ship the final products in November later this year.