I recently sat down with Doug Cole, General Manager / SVP, URC about the company’s new voice controlled hand-held remote, integrator support and other new URC CEDIA EXPO news.
Maureen Jenson: The big URC news at CEDIA EXPO 2019 is all about your new handheld remote with voice control. Tell our readers about this new device?
Doug Cole: We’re excited to be showing a very cool addition to our Total Control 2.0 smart automation and control system — our new TRC-1480 handheld remote with voice control. This product leverages URC’s 30 years’ experience in developing universal remotes but adds an integrated microphone for Alexa or Siri voice control, in addition to a 2.4-inch touchscreen LED and hard buttons.
MJ: Can you go into even further detail?
DC: Sure – our new TRC-1480 provides primary whole-house control of entertainment and smart home devices – TV, cable box, A/V components, distributed music systems, lighting, security, cameras, door locks, thermostats, motorized shades and more. It has a very ergonomic design and delivers two-way control of URC Total Control systems and third party products for the ultimate smart home experience.
An in-remote microphone provides for easy voice communicated control with Alexa or Siri (for Apple TV). Authorized URC Total Control dealers can personalize room images, icons and backgrounds for the touch screen as well as create and save up to 6 activities per room as shortcuts, via a pop-up menu on the remote’s LCD touch screen.
MJ: Privacy with voice controlled devices has been an issue. How has URC addressed this with the TRC-1480?
DC: URC has heard from many end users that they love the convenience of voice control throughout their home and even in commercial facilities, but they don’t want to worry about being monitored all the time. Given that privacy is super important to consumers these days, we engineered the new TRC-1480’s microphone to be activated only with the press of a button the remote control. Simply put, our TRC-1480 is the voice control remote that listens to you ONLY when you want it to.
MJ: What is your customer profile with this type of product?
DC: This new remote was engineered to control homes or commercial facilities that use URC Total Control systems for automation and control. URC’s Total Control smart automation and control systems are perfect for a wide variety of installations – pretty much any size home or commercial spaces such as bars, restaurants, offices, executive boardrooms, huddle rooms, amenities rooms, and even yachts. Since these installations have a wide variety of users that need to be able to use the system, we’ve leveraged our 30 years of experience in designing and engineering the most intuitive remote controls to develop this new offering.
It is perfect for pretty much anyone that wants to be able to control their entire house or commercial facility and take advantage of the best of all worlds – tactile buttons, LCD touch screen, and voice control. The tactile buttons are intuitively laid out for easy control of in-room functions, while the LCD touch screen allows the end user to easily select and switch rooms, access shortcuts and favorite channels, and view feed from security cameras. Then there’s voice control for communication with Amazon Alexa and Siri for control of Apple TV. We will be adding additional voice control services to this remote in the future, making this a truly universal voice remote.
MJ: How is URC supporting the integrator in reaching the end user of the TRC-1480?
DC: URC partners with Authorized Total Control dealers to market not only our Total Control system but also the dealer’s business in local markets. We’ve brought on some additional talent to ramp up our end user marketing activities, particularly in the digital space since that is where end users are typically spending most of their time, so we intend to raise awareness of the brand and of the variety of applications and installations for our products.
We also partner with dealers to write up case studies of some of the installations that they’ve done and share those on our website as well as in various publications so that residential and commercial end users can get a good idea of what URC’s Total Control system can do in their home or commercial space.
MJ: What is pricing, availability and what is your booth number at EXPO?
DC: The TRC-1480 will ship in November 2019 at an MSRP of $899. Come check it out at the CEDIA Expo at our booth #3001.
MJ: What are some of the other new URC products are readers can expect to see at EXPO?
DC: This is going to be our biggest CEDIA in quite some time for new product launches and URC will be showcasing a new & innovative lineup of architectural speakers, our next generation wireless lighting system, more modules to expand our ever-growing list of integration partners, more opportunities for customization, more applications for our products, just to name a few things. Simply put, with URC’s products, services and support, authorized dealers can do more jobs and end users can do more things in their home or commercial space.
That’s why at CEDIA 2019, we’re encouraging everyone to Do More so they can Be More – dealers can do more jobs, more efficiently so they can be more profitable and end users can do more with the press of a button so they can be more present in the moment at home, work or play.