April 18, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
The remote is one of the greatest things to happen to home entertainment, but it hasn’t done much for mobile entertainment. That can be a bit of a problem considering how much the two are merging thanks to HDMI-out ports and media docks that can connect to a television. It’s no fun connecting a Droid 4 to a TV and then having to constantly get up to touch a phone and navigate to the next media.
The Motorola Smart Controller brings the trip-saving remote concept to mobile devices, allowing users to control their Motorola Xoom, Droid Razr, and other products via Bluetooth. By pairing the remote with a device, users can switch songs on a phone hooked up to an audio system, or swipe to the next photo when displaying photos on a television. The Smart Controller is designed to make navigating through a phone’s content as seamless as using standard remotes.
Motorola isn’t immediately successful in that goal. While the controller rests comfortably in the hand at first, the pressure-and-swipe trackpad doesn’t feel as seamless as one would hope. But within a few days of testing, I was moving in and out of apps without issue. Using the pinch to zoom function required a bit more delicacy than I could muster, but I was able to move to and fro, and rotate the screen.
The Smart Controller is designed to enhance media options, but it also supports calling and voice commands. A user could trigger Vlingo to send texts or emails, or search for something using his or her voice. And when making or receiving a call, the phone button located on the rear of the device will enable communication through the Smart Controller.
Motorola promises that the Smart Controller is compatible with any Android device supporting Bluetooth HID profile. The remote retails for $99 and is sold separately from all other products. Get more info at Motorola.com, and watch the video below to see the Smart Controller in action.