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Peel Adds Smart-Home Control To Smartphone App

Barcelona, Spain – Peel, whose remote-control app is preloaded on more than half of all Android phones and tablets sold, expanded the app’s selection of controllable devices beyond IR-controlled home entertainment products and appliances to add smart-home devices.

The app, arriving next month, will be preloaded on HTC’s new flagship One M9 smartphone, also unveiled here at the Mobile World Congress.

With the enhancement, the Peel app will control Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-connected smart-home devices, including Belkin’s WeMo Wi-Fi smart plugs, the Nest learning thermostat, Philips Hue smart bulbs and other lighting, the Guardian Lock, and Wi-Fi-connected home-audio products, including products from Bose, Sonos, Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha and others.

The app also controls 150 global brands of IR-controlled heating and cooling appliances, air conditioners, fans and the like, as long as the smartphone or tablet has an embedded IR blaster.

The updated app will provide “a unified, multidevice, intelligent home experience controlled from a single smart remote app,” said co-founder and chief product officer Bala Krishnan. The app will let users create scenes that integrate multiple home electronics. “A Peel-in living room experience might involve simultaneously turning on the TV and sound system, closing the blinds, adjusting room temperature and lowering the lights, all with the tap of one button,” Krishnan explained.

On Apple devices, which lack IR blaster, the Peel app works with home entertainment systems that incorporate a Dish or DirecTV set-top box, communicating via Wi-Fi to the boxes and thus to other components in the home entertainment system. On Apple devices, the updated app will also control Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-controlled smarthome devices.