Bond is a smart home accessory meant to help you add some Internet of Things utility to older devices that don’t have internet access. How? By learning the signals from your various remotes and rebroadcasting them when prompted through an through Alexa or another smart device. In other words, the IR blaster is making yet another comeback (Hi, Nilay!)
Bond works through Wi-Fi, and touts the ability to control both infrared and radio frequency devices (the company says that IR devices will need line of sight in order to work properly, however). But as clunky as the blaster system is, it’s not a terrible solution to adding smart home functionality to your stuff without buying expensive replacements. Bond also claims to be compatible with Amazon’s Alexa voice control, which could make it a fairly powerful tool to easily convert legacy devices to a voice controlled smart home — if it actually works, anyway.
The company also notes that Bond will “listen” for the regular remote and track those changes, which is a helpful thing when working with IR and RF blasters. After all, it’s not helpful if your app tries to turn your air conditioner off when you’re trying to turn it on because you used a remote once.
Each Bond unit costs $99, with multiple units capable of linking up together to control multiple rooms. It’s available for preorder now from the company’s website.