A Kickstarter campaign has been initiated for a new IR Blaster known as the Qubiot Remote Pro, which claims to be Matter compatible once it is successfully launched. Despite the existence of two devices in the market that offer this functionality through Matter- the Switchbot Hub 2 and the recent Nature Remo Nano, the Qubiot appears to provide more value for money beyond just IR control.
The Qubiot Remote Pro, in addition to controlling virtually any device with an infrared remote control and sending it to the smart home platform of choice through Matter, comes in a small box (80 x 80 x 60 mm) with both wired and WiFi connections to connect to your network. It also includes Bluetooth (for Matter onboarding and controlling other BLE devices), Thread, and Zigbee. Moreover, it has an RF433MHz radio to control devices using that frequency instead of IR.
One interesting aspect is the option to purchase a separate remote control to work with the Qubiot. While it may seem contradictory, it serves as a logical extension. The separate remote connects and communicates with the main IR blaster, so if someone prefers using the remote instead of the Matter smart home platform, the devices will still be synchronized as they communicate via Bluetooth. This feature allows one remote to replace multiple remotes and prevents device states from becoming unsynchronized, a common issue when using traditional remotes for devices like TV, AC units, or AV receivers.
Additionally, customers can choose from three color options: Graphite, Black & White, or Total Black. There are a few things to consider, such as the device not being listed as a Matter-certified device by the CSA (Connectivity Standards Alliance) yet. This is expected since the project is in its infancy, and production is slated to begin between January and March of next year. It's worth noting that some companies that have used crowdfunding in the past to launch their products have later removed references to compatibility with platforms like HomeKit once they secure funds. However, the Qubiot project seems ambitious even in a time when IR-controlled devices are becoming less common. The Qubiot is currently available for presale on Kickstarter for approximately $80, with the optional remote available for around $66.
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