Updated Jan. 3, 2017 at 8:54 a.m.

New Lenovo controller could bring sanity to your smart home

Published: 2017-01-03 07:09:00
Updated: 2017-01-03 08:54:31

Lenovo's 500 designed for thumb control Lenovo's 500 designed for thumb control Image 1 of 2 · Next Image…

It's Consumer Electronics Show time in Las Vegas, which means we techies are going to feast on new gadgets and gizmos over the next few days. Yes, CES is a great way to start the New Year.

But there's a caveat.

Figuring out how to use all those new tech toys - from 4K smart TVs to virtual reality to ever-faster PCs and gaming systems - is part of the Christmas fun. And now we can look into the future to see what's new.

Being able to control them simply and easily is another. Smart homes can be smarter.

Lenovo may have the answer for those who want to avoid the frustration of dreaded controller sprawl.

For less than $60.

Today at CES, Lenovo is unveiling the "500 Multimedia Controller," which it says means control for "today's digital home."

How many remotes and other devices do you have on your credenza or end table?

(By the way, Lenovo also unveiled its own "smart speaker" to take on Amazon and Google.)

Figuring out how to use all those new tech toys - from 4K smart TVs to virtual reality to ever-faster PCs and gaming systems - is part of the Christmas fun. Being able to control them simply is another. Lenovo may have the answer for those who want a truly smart home without controller sprawl. And it's less than $60.

[Lenovo's 500 designed for thumb control] Lenovo's 500 designed for thumb control

Tags: Telecommunications and Wireless, PC industry, Lenovo, Internet of Things

By the way, Lenovo also unveiled its own smart speaker as well as a rival to Amazon and Google.{{/a}})

Lenovo's 500 controllerLenovo touts its controller is "an innovative device that integrates, controls and ultimately makes the most of all that change."

"Today’s consumers want a complete multimedia experience that makes the most of large-screen displays, high-performance PCs, interactive technologies and everything the Internet and content providers have to offer," the world's top PC maker says.

They base their offering on a survey which shows the "aggregation of displays, computers and devices creates a frustrating challenge around controlling them, often forcing consumers to use different devices to tap into different contents and functions."

Amen to that!

Thus the 500, which is a wireless keypad with an arched surface for easy pickup (great idea!) and no sharp edges (wonderful!). Plus, Lenovo says the device resembles a gaming controller in that keys are easily accessible for both thumbs.

For people like me who are all thumbs, this may or may not be a boost.

For those who prefer swipe and gesture control, the 500 offers support.

Touted as "swipe and surf," Lenovo notes the 500 "is designed for your thumbs to reach every key on the keypad as well as control the touchpad – all with one grip. Its distinctive design means users can employ the swipes, gestures and clicks typically associated with navigating menus, surfing content and opening applications. Yet, they can also use their thumbs to rapid-fire message family and friends, key in search terms, enter passwords and more."

Lenovo says the 500 thus turns your sofa or easy chair into a "commander's seat." And with a wireless range of more than 60 feet - double that or standard remotes - you are free to roam.

All this for less than $60?

Lenovo just may have a big hit on its hands when the 500 goes on sale in March.

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