updated 08:35 am EST, Mon November 14, 2011
Convergence Bridge mixes remote, keyboard, pad
Convergence Technologies is hoping to build a universal remote intended for networked media hubs, not just traditional home theater hardware. The Bridge uses a gamepad-like shape that holds both a joystick to replace the mouse, a full QWERTY keyboard, and buttons for common remote control tasks. The device talks over IR and RF (using RF4CE) and should support Apple TV, the Boxee Box, Google TV, and Roku players, as well as most Macs, Linux, and Windows PCs.
The team hopes to also support the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360, although it's not clear how they will interact. The PS3 normally needs Bluetooth to work, while the other two have more proprietary approaches to remotes.
Releasing the Bridge will depend on funding. As a Kickstarter project, the Bridge costs $65 each as a fundraising effort to get to the $50,000 total mark before the end of the year. Donations are available in any amount, although $10 or $20 will get limited edition accessories. Those willing to go beyond the regular price to $90 get the red bridge, and those willing to spend more can get the accessories from the lower tiers along with the remote itself.