Universal Strives For Remote That Automates Home

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NEW YORK -- Universal Electronics this fall will start shipping a new LCD-based wireless remote for use with Internet appliances and is planning to use the device as the basis for a home automation remote control in a deal with the British firm Inventsys.

The LCD remote, dubbed Mosaic, will sell under Universal's One For All brand in the United States with a $190 estimated street price. The PalmPilot-size device uses a stylus and touchscreen to control a home's entertainment products.

Universal has plans to base several additional advanced products on the Mosaic. Next year a version with an onscreen keyboard and the ability to send and receive data is expected to be ready. This will enable the Mosaic to work with an Internet appliance.

The next step is to integrate it into a home-automation controller, a project Universal is working on with Inventsys, said Camille Jayne, Universal's CEO.

Inventsys is developing white goods capable of being connected to a home network, and the Universal remote would allow the consumer to remotely control all these appliances, Jayne said.

In another move, the company will start shipping in July the Venture wireless keyboards, which will carry street prices ranging from $18 to $27.


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