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Check out the Kymera Wand Universal Remote Control!
I am an enormous fan of the TV show Dragon's Den. For those that don't know, it is a BBC UK show that has a panel of self-made millionaires who judge the worthiness of ideas, products and services from aspiring entrepreneurs. If they see one they like, they bid for the right to invest in it.
Dragon's Den is entertaining, inspirational and contains many gems of business wisdom such as make sure you have a business plan, know your numbers, have a marketing strategy and more. The books each of the panel has written (including Theo Paphitis, Deborah Meaden, Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones) are worth a read in their own right. They are all available on Kindle, and I confess, along with similar books from Lord Alan Sugar (of UK Apprentice fame), I have used their ideas and advice to form what is the new incarnation of Auscam.
Anyway, approximately two years ago, a product appeared on Dragon's Den that is an absolute game changer. A pair of technical whizzes had created a device that replaced the remote control for almost any device you'd like to name; it was a magic wand a la Harry Potter!
It could be waved, rotated, flicked, tapped (once or twice), swished, pushed forward or backward and more - 13 operations in total - to replicate the commands from your remote control(s).
I have resisted for a long time to order one, but two weeks ago I caved in. I have just added an XBOX Kinetic to my home theatre system and to perform the basic functions I do, whilst I have a Logitech Universal control and it is very functional, the Wand - called a Kymera- looked far more fun!
It finally arrived today in its elegant display box and instructions on Olde English parchment. Firstly you have to learn the various actions to perform commands, and this takes about 10 minutes. Next, you "teach" the commands you want to assign to each of the Wand's options.
For example, to turn my Sony 52" Bravia on, I wanted to use the "flick up" command, and to turn it off, the "flick down". It's really very easy; you tap the side of the Wand twice while it is vertical to put it in learning mode, perform the required action and then point the sharp end at your remote's infra red sender and press the button for that action. The Wand will respond with a vibration (every action has a specific vibration code to signify what is has done or it understands) and voila! Done.
In truth, it took me a few goes to get it just right, but this was down more to my ham fistedness than any error on the Wand's behalf.
Once I had the knack of programming the wand, it was only a short time before I had the whole system setup; the Denon receiver/amp volume was controlled by rotate right and left, flicking between HDMI devices was flick left/right, XBOX options were taps and so on. The piece de resistance - the BIG SWISH was reserved for putting my Sony Blu-Ray player into play mode with something that starts with a bang!
When you use the Wand to perform an action, especially if there are others present, you simply cannot help but to ham it up a little - or a lot! And I confess, when I got the first command working, I burst into laughter. It's just one of those gadgets that is a must have, for no other reason that it is Great Fun! You'll want to turn things on and off, switch between devices or whatever you have programmed it for (lights, heating, iPod dock or whatever uses an IR remote) just for the sheer delight of it!
At $89.95 it makes a fantastic Chrissy present. The Kymera is beautifully presented in its box, the instructions are almost worth laminating and framing and well... what more can I say. They even provide the AAA batteries it uses in the price.
In fact, I am so impressed that I have negotiated that Auscam can sell the Kymera Wand to our readers for AUD$89.95 including freight.
David is the owner and publisher of Australian Videocamera. He has a background in media dating back to 1979 when he first got involved with photojournalism in motorsport, and went from there into technology via a 5 year stint with Tandy Computers.
Moving back to WA, David wrote scripts for Computer Television for video training for the just released Windows and Office 95 among others, and was then lured to Sydney to create web sites for the newly commercial Internet in 1995, building hundreds of sites under contract to OzEmail including Coates Hire, Hertz Queensland, John Williamson, the NSW Board of Studies and many, many more.
David can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org