Remote control IC includes voice control & smart-home management

September 12, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
GreenPeak Technologies’ GP565 Smart Home radio chip for remote controls supports voice control, motion sensing and the ZRC 2.0 protocol. It is aimed at “next generation” remotes using RF instead of infrared (IR), to build a single remote for all Smart Home systems.

“Even with a growing move to the cloud to manage everything, there will always be a need for remote controls. Sometimes you want to use your smart phone for talking, texting and playing games - not controlling your TV or your environment,” explains Cees Links, Founder & CEO of GreenPeak Technologies. “When you go out for the evening, you are not going leave your smart phone at home for your family to switch channels! In addition, makers of TV sets and set-top boxes will always provide a dedicated remote control that they know will work with their system without having to rely on the end user to download an app or to configure their network.”

The new ZigBee ZRC 2.0 protocol enables a single remote control to control all the home's connected devices – including turning on lights, opening curtains, managing appliances and environment, etc. Other new ZRC 2.0 features include the 'Find My Remote’ feature, which enables a remote control to start beeping and/or flashing when it is lost and making it much easier to find. It can be activated by a physical Find My Remote button on the home’s entertainment system or Smart Home devices.

The ‘IR-RF Download’ feature provides complete control of legacy audio and video equipment, either through RF4CE or infrared, with a hybrid remote control, without requiring the user to select the correct IR settings for the TV. ZRC 2.0 is fully backward compatible with existing ZRC 1.x implementations.

The voice control features enables users to control the remote without having to navigate a confusing nest of buttons. This includes changing channels, searching for programs, activating DVR and other functions, as well as controlling other ZRC 2.0 connected devices in the home. GreenPeak uses a reliable compression codec to enhance throughput within the available ZigBee data rate and advanced voice recognition, which greatly improves the user experience.

Motion sensing can enable these same kinds of