CES 2009: Unify4Life "Like a shadow, always by your side"

By Kevin Michaluk on 8 Jan 2009 10:41 am EST
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Our friends at Unify4Life are down at CES and they're going to keep us up to date with a bit of a "CES Diary". To kick it off, here's an overview by Unify4Life's Chairman and Founder...

CES 2009: Unify4Life "Like a shadow, always by your side"
by Micheal Nykoluk, Chairman, Founder, Unify4Life

There has been a lot of interest in our company from the entire BlackBerry community so we asked Kevin if we could post an overview of what we're trying to do and the main benefits for you.

Our mission is to "create and market the best universal remote in the world! Our UnifyGuide (Interactive TV program guide, and much more!) will become the de facto standard media portal!"

AV Shadow

Why is our AV|Shadow the best universal remote in the world?

Because it's not just a universal remote!

  • UnifyGuide Interactive Media Portal greatly improves your ability to find and take you to entertainment that you're interested in!

Unify4Life

Unify4Life

  • Stereo streaming from a BlackBerry to your audio equipment!
  • Born Green: no batteries required!

With some optional accessories for our product, we enable amazing new features never before seen in a universal remote!

  • SoundGrabber: plugs into the AV|Shadow and when used with your iPod, you will be able to see all the songs and playlist information on your smartphone and control music streaming from the iPod to your audio equipment. We're demonstrating at CES, the Sands Booth 74834. Available in March 2009 MSRP $39.99
  • Game|Shadow: can be used standalone, allows your smartphone to control your PS3 DVD. In addition you'll now be able to surf the internet on the PS3, using your smartphone as the keyboard. When used with the AV|Shadow you'll be able to seamlessly change inputs on you AV system and be taken to any book marked website you choose. Come and see it at CES, the Sands Booth 7483. Game|ShadowTM: will be available in April 2009 with an MSRP of $39.99.

What enhancements did we add to standard universal remote products? (The BlackBerry Smartphone really helps us out here!).

  • User interface is consistent and easy to use with the trackball
    • Storm users, we had our doubts that we could create a user interface that compared with the trackball... we were wrong... it's better than a trackball! We'll post a video soon for you to take a look.
  • Best screen of any universal remote
  • Full QWERTY keyboard for UnifyGuide show searching.
  • Truly universal, because we capture every function/button on the original remote
  • Simple two step installation
  • Choice of set up on BlackBerry in front of equipment or on PC
  • Always connected, no need to connect to your PC
  • Cost $99.00 is a fraction of the high end remotes that we will replace
  • Convenient, "Like a shadow always by your side"!

That brings us to the final piece of the Unify4Life puzzle: the "Life Machine"

Our vision is to build applications that bring value to people by leveraging the full power and user interfaces of smartphones for home automation, we call it the "Life Machine". Our strategy enables virtually the same capability, with much lower material costs, and without the need for costly service of expensive home automation systems. The first couple of products that we're demonstrating at CES are:

  • Garage|Shadow: turns your BlackBerry® Smartphone into a remote for your garage door opener. It's secure (requires Bluetooth pairing), safe (your garage remote is not available to be stolen in your driveway giving the thief access to your home), it's convenient for cyclists, motorcyclists, returning from walking the dog, and snow blowing your driveway... we're from Canada!

    You can push the open button when you leave the office and once you are in range of your home, your garage door will open when you arrive (many more software features will be enabled as our customers request them). We have a custom garage door in our booth at CES, the Sands Booth 74834.

    Garage|Shadow will be available in April 2009 with an MSRP of $29.99.
Garage|Shadow
  • Slide|Shadow: we took our technology from the Game|Shadow and created our first entry into the enterprise market. Plug Slide|Shadow into your PC (Windows 98+, MAC, Linux) and your smartphone can control PowerPoint slides, in addition to acting as a keyboard for the user's PC (which has many industrial applications). It seems our engineering team watches a lot of downloaded video's, running from their PC's; so they use it as a remote for Windows Media Player! No software or drivers on the PC are required, just a simple download onto your BlackBerry. Come and take a look at CES, the Sands Booth 74834! Slide|Shadow will be available April 2009 with an MSRP of $39.99.

That's what we've been up to at Unify4Life since WES! We do apologize for the delay in getting the AV|Shadow to market, however, we wanted to ensure our customers Unify4Life experience would be exceptional.

I would like to personally thank the CrackBerry Community, many people at RIM, Xtreme Labs, and many others who have helped us along the way.

We have created an awesome team of engineers, industrial designers, customer support, and operations people. They have taken a simple concept, but very complex to implement and applied a lot of creativity, hard work, and passion to create a great product offering that we are certain will bring a lot of value to our customers.

Over the next few days, I'll be keeping a diary of our CES experience that Kevin has agreed to post. I will also include a detailed overview of our UnifyGuide.

I hope everybody had a great holiday season and a happy new year! For more information visit our website at www.unify4life.com.

-  Micheal Nykoluk
   Chairman, Founder, Unify4Life

Reader comments

CES 2009: Unify4Life "Like a shadow, always by your side"

13 Comments

Where can we see this in action on a Storm? My credit card is burning a hole in my pocket, and my A/V system is without a remote at the moment...plus I have a household with two Storm's.

@Mantheron
If its set up through bluetooth, I'm sure you can only enable one blackberry's bluetooth connectivity at a time depending on which one you would like to use.

I wonder if this can work with the PS3's bluetooth capabilities and can be used as a BD remote control as well...

Game|Shadow: can be used standalone, allows your smartphone to control your PS3 DVD. In addition you'll now be able to surf the internet on the PS3, using your smartphone as the keyboard. When used with the AV|Shadow you'll be able to seamlessly change inputs on you AV system and be taken to any book marked website you choose. Come and see it at CES, the Sands Booth 7483. Game|ShadowTM: will be available in April 2009 with an MSRP of $39.99.

I really like what Unify4Life is doing. Converging more functions into one device means less crap to carry, lose, charge, etc.

The article says, "* Cost $99.00 is a fraction of the high end remotes that we will replace." Does this mean that a monthly subscription fee is no longer required? Since I already have a Logitech Harmony remote and TiVo, the AV|Shadow will be harder to justify.

I am very excited about the Garage|Shadow though! Then I will just need BlueTooth door and ignition locks on my car, and I won't need to carry keys any more.

I know they said that it can be used as a keyboard for the internet on the PS3, but can it be used for navigation too? If anyone knows could you post it in the comments section?

This wld b great! I friggin hate typin on the "keyboard" pfhhhtttt....if thats what ya wanna call it thats on the PS3! If I had a garage that wld b pretty sweet too! Maybe 4 my bday in May...it'll all b out by then!

Now I'm intrigued.

The keys to me will be:

How many BBs does the AV|Shadow support?

Is there a fee for the software on the BBs?

How does the device recover from a Power outage (dont want to have to program/resynch everytime)?

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For the purpose of using it as a Universal remote I expect I'll need to pick up an 8330 so that when I am not at home, my Inlaws will beable to chaneg channels when they are babysitting my kids.

AV|Shadow $99.99(?) + Game|Shadow $39.99 + Garage|Shadow $29.99 = $169.97

$168 plus the cost of a spare BB to leave in the living room On top of training my eldrly Inlaws and young childern to use something that is radically different from a remote.

Factor in the current economy and suddenly my interest is fading.