Cantata’s Haptique RS90: A Promising Contender in the Universal Remote Battleground

Cantata’s Haptique RS90: A Potential Game-Changer in the Universal Remote Market

The universal remote market, once dominated by Logitech’s Harmony line, has struggled to find a clear frontrunner since Logitech’s departure. However, French/Indian/Chinese startup Cantata is stepping into the ring with its debut product, the Haptique RS90, aiming to capture the hearts of couch surfers everywhere.

The Haptique RS90 is a sleek, angled device that resembles a Motorola RAZR phone transformed into a remote control. It promises a unique blend of touchscreen functionality with dedicated physical buttons, offering both convenience and tactile control. The RS90 will also be accompanied by a charging base, ensuring it’s always ready for action.

Cantata has designed the Haptique RS90 to be a versatile home automation hub, capable of communicating with a wide range of devices. It supports infrared (IR) for legacy devices, Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, and ZigBee for integration with smart home ecosystems. The remote will be available in two color options: light silver and gunmetal gray, reminiscent of Apple’s signature aesthetic.

As you navigate through different activities, such as listening to Spotify or streaming Netflix, the built-in 3.1-inch display transforms to present customized interfaces with additional controls and features tailored to each activity. Cantata plans to provide extensive support for various platforms and devices, including Spotify, Denon/Marantz HEOS, Yamaha AV receivers, Philips HUE lighting, Sonos, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Nvidia Shield. By the end of the year, the list is expected to expand even further.

For programming and customization, Cantata offers a dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS. This app not only simplifies the setup process but also serves as a backup remote if the Haptique RS90 is misplaced or needs recharging.

The Haptique RS90 and its upgraded sibling, the RS90X, share a similar design. However, the RS90X boasts more memory, storage, a faster processor, an OLED display, an IR receiver, Bluetooth 5.0, and a fingerprint reader. It also runs on a more up-to-date Android 12 operating system, compared to the RS90’s Android 8.1.

Both remotes feature a microphone, but voice command capabilities are still under development. Cantata is currently working on Siri integration for Apple TV, with support for Amazon’s Fire TV and Android TV voice control coming in the future. Voice integration has been a stumbling block for previous Logitech Harmony remotes, and Cantata hopes to address this issue with the Haptique RS90.

Cantata is confident in the Haptique RS90’s potential to bridge the gap left by Logitech’s Harmony line. However, it’s worth noting that another Kickstarter project, the Yio Remote Two (now known as the Unfolded Circle Remote Two), offered a similar design and feature set. While backers have expressed satisfaction with the Remote Two, ongoing updates and improvements are still needed to fully deliver on its promises.

As the Haptique RS90 crowdfunding campaign gains momentum, it remains to be seen whether Cantata can deliver on its ambitious vision. If successful, the Haptique RS90 has the potential to become a formidable contender in the universal remote market, offering a comprehensive home automation solution with a user-friendly interface and extensive device compatibility.

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