RTIs T3x Handheld Home Automation Controller is Shipping! Long Live the T3x! – CEPro

The T3x ($999) universal remote and home automation controller from Remote Technologies Inc. (RTI), has finally arrived after it appeared for the first time at CEDIA Expo 2013.

Normally, when we get a press release that a product demonstrated two years ago is now shipping, we relegate it to a blurb in our “Product Briefs.” But this one is worthy of a little refresher course because it’s a pretty outstanding product … in so far as we need outstanding handheld remotes in an era of smart phones and tablets.

The T3x is a universal remote in the classic sense, with an IR output and a bank of commands in its IR library.

To integrate with a full slate of devices including A/V and home automation systems, the remote works with a range of RTI control hubs that support (proprietary) ZigBee, Wi-Fi, serial, I/O, IR, 433 MHz and sensing.

So … the T3x includes a 433 MHz radio for one-way control via compatible RTI hubs.

For richer two-way control, the T3x offers (proprietary) ZigBee for controlling and receiving feedback from smart home devices such as thermostats and security systems.

For even richer integration, the Wi-Fi built into the T3x facilitates dynamic graphics, IP cameras feeds, and wireless program updates.

That’s right. Integrators can update their customers’ T3x remotes over the air, without rolling a truck.

Through RTI control hubs, the T3x can communicate two-way with a wide range of subsystems via IP and RS-232.

Lately, RTI (with its partners) has kicked two-way driver development into high gear, being among the first home-control companies to offer integration with Denon Heos, Apple TV Gen 2 and 3, Sonos (unofficial), Cool Automation, Nest, KNX (the European control protocol), Tenflare voice controller and Lutron Caseta via Lutron’s Smart Bridge gateway … plus all of the usual suspects from HVAC, lighting controls, security, motorized shades, media servers and the rest.

Furthermore, the company hosted its first-ever developers’ conference, DevX 2015, last week to support dealers and developers who wish to create their own drivers (stay tuned for the post mortem).

Besides its integration capabilities—available with other RTI controllers as well—the T3x stands out for its haptic feedback, grip sensors to keep the unit awake during use, and an accelerometer that provides instant-on response and control via movements.

Users can wave the thing around to control the TV volume or change the channels, for example.

And also, the wand has a built-in mic, speaker and front-facing camera for video intercom functionality.

Much of the feature set of the T3x is made possible by RTI’s newest platform, Apex, which was first introduced in 2012.

Plus, the T3x has earned all sorts of rave reviews for its industrial design, and most recently won the 2015 CEA TechHome Mark of Excellence Award for interface product of the year.. The only criticism I’ve heard so far is: It’s late. Oh, and I believe it’s been mentioned that channel up/down should be on the right side, not the left.

Anyway, you can buy it now. Retail price is a very reasonable $999.

Here’s the RTI handheld tally: The T2x ($899), introduced in 2012 and shipping in 2013, includes many of the same features as the T3x including the grip sensors, accelerometer and gesture control (thanks to Apex), but not the video camera functionality. The T2i ($499) looks similar to the T2x but lacks gesture controls and remote updates via Wi-Fi. The T3x is quite similar to the T2x but adds the video intercom and loses the numeric keypad in favor of more touchscreen real estate.

RTI T3x Features & Specs

  • Dual RF transmission capability uses 433MHz and 2.4GHz (utilizing Zigbee technology).
  • Integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless Ethernet enables viewing MJPEG video, wireless program updates and enhanced two-way control.
  • Two-way control using 2.4GHz (Zigbee®) and RTI control components.
  • Flush mount, 3.5” color touchscreen for improved gesture support.
  • Integrated grip sensors keep the remote awake while in use.**
  • Accelerometer provides “instant-on” control.**
  • Haptic feedback on touchscreen gives subtle vibration when touchscreen is pressed.
  • Integrated camera and microphone enables video intercom support.***
  • Programming can be remotely updated wirelessly over WiFi.
  • Thirty-five assignable/programmable keypad buttons.
  • Four general purpose assignable/programmable keypad buttons with interchangeable keycap labels – Laser Shark compatible..
  • Cursor button allows simple scrolling list navigation.
  • Transmits IR and RF (or both – on a single button press!).
  • Extremely wide IR transmitting frequency range.
  • System includes a Lithium-Ion battery and docking station.
  • Completely customizable and programmable.
  • Non-volatile Flash memory stores your system configuration even when power is not present.

All specifications subject to change without notice
* Two-way feedback available only when used with RTI control components.
** Grip sensors and accelerometer cannot be used simultaneously.
*** Intercom support will be enabled with a future firmware update.

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