Savant's Powerful Remote Could Unleash the Home Automation We've Been Waiting For

We’ve heard lots about home automation, utilizing various apps and remotes to control our devices and gadgets—everything from our TV to security cameras to lighting. But no single product has yet evolved to provide a simple interface and a single system to manage it all. It’s still as complicated as ever, burdening us with numerous apps and connected devices.

But I’ve been trying out a new home hub system that has the potential to be the solution we’ve been waiting for. It’s from Savant, a company located in Hyannis, Mass.

What may make this different from the other failed attempts is that Savant is no newcomer. They’ve been in the business for more than a decade, making some of the world’s most successful and costly home automation products that control entertainment, lighting and other equipment in some of the world’s most luxurious homes, estates, castles and even yachts. They've now taken this experience and have built a system for the rest of us.

So what can it do? It can control all your entertainment—TV, Cable TV, Sonos, Apple TV, Xbox, and more. It can adjust lamps anywhere in the house at any time, and it can do this from both a powerful new programmable remote control as well as from an app running on an Apple or Android phone. It’s also designed to be expandable to work with other devices in the future, such as connected thermostats, blinds and shades, and possibly even cameras.

The $499 package includes an advanced remote control, a multi-purpose base for the remote,  and a communications hub called a host. (You can also purchase a Savant lamp control unit for an additional $99.) Think of this as the world’s best all-in-one remote that expands to control many other devices in your home.

The sleek black remote is about the size of a normal TV remote, but has a hi-res color touch display, a microphone, and assorted buttons. Setup is pretty easy, inputting all of your audio and video components by make and model number (or by just entering the brand and trying a few options).