ve been excited to get a Caavo to review since I first saw it demoed last year — it’s a next-generation universal remote system that uses machine vision to operate all your TV devices in a simple, seamless way.
After a lengthy development cycle, a new round of funding, and some limited beta testing, the first 5,000 Caavo units go on sale today for $399. After using a review unit for several days, it’s clear that Caavo has the most interesting idea about the future of remote controls anyone’s had in years. It’s also clear that it’s a very complicated, expensive idea that isn’t quite ready yet.
Here’s the basic difference between Caavo and other universal remotes like the popular Logitech Harmony series: the Caavo can see mostly everything that’s happening on your TV, and figure out what to do next based on what it sees. Other universal remotes are actually quite dumb: they just fire off preprogrammed sequences of commands without being able to confirm if things went well, and if everything works right, you still have to find and play your shows on every device yourself.