We’ve seen Ricavision’s Sideshow Remotes before (and even got hands-on with their previous concept SideShow remote), but this is the first time we’ve fondled the commercial version that’s coming next year.
Ricavision and Microsoft have a tight relationship (the latter used the former’s Media Center computers way back years ago to do one of the first demos), which explains why they’re both sticking it out with the SideShow technology. The VAVE100 remote, however, is both cool and confused.
The remote’s targeted towards power users with the Windows SideShow function. If you’ve got a Vista MCE machine, you can stream Windows Gadgets to any SideShow device that will essentially give you a little screen to read/interact with Windows functions wirelessly. This is cool, and works fairly well on the remote. Where it starts to get fuzzy is the universal remote side of the issue.
Instead of making it just a SideShow remote that controls a Windows MCE machine, they made it a universal remote that’s to take on universals like the Logitech Harmony line. The problem is that the VAVE100 isn’t programmable via the PC, which means you can only set up devices on the remote itself.
It’s great in theory, but the fact that it’s not that strong of a universal remote makes it a device that’s only great if you really like Vista SideShow. Ricavision’s getting FCC approval now and will ship it when ready. [Ricavision]