October 30, 2008
| by Lisa Montgomery
It’s about time somebody revamped the remote control. Rectangular clickers are fine, don’t get me wrong. But no matter how many buttons, colors or touchscreens you put on them, they’re all still the same basic shape.
Savant has recently broken the mold with its Rosie Contemporary remote. Shaped a like a candy dish, this beauty is small enough to sit in the palm of your hand. Using your thumb as you would to operate an iPod, you navigate the remote’s scroll wheel to move through a control menu that’s displayed on the screen of your TV. The circular shape and scroll wheel-based navigation makes a whole lot of sense once you see Savant’s Rosie on-screen home control menu.
Icons relating to a home’s lighting, audio/video, security, thermostats and more are laid out in a circular fashion. You scroll around until you get to the device you want to control, hit the select button on the side of the remote, and Rosie brings up another menu of choices. The hard buttons at the side of the Contemporary’s touch-sensitive scroll wheel can be programmed to enact a variety of different command. For example, the same buttons that lower and raise the volume when you’re in the audio menu can bright and dim the lights when you’re in the lighting control menu.
In addition to making the Rosie home control system easy to operate, the Contemporary remote makes quite a statement. Its outer shell can be custom designed in any material or finish you want. You could choose a leather finish that matches a favorite family room chair or a metal covering that complements the frame of your flat-panel TV. Or, you could take the remote as it comes—in a standard high-gloss black finish. No matter what type of material you choose for the shell, the Contemporary is a unique, eye-catching remote that’s just as much about form as it is function.
The Contemporary remote has an MSRP of $400, while the OSD (on-screen display) is priced at $3,800.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.