There are lots of solutions on the market now, but one that stood out to me is the TurnTouch. Check out the video or read the review below.
What is the TurnTouch?
The TurnTouch is a simple four button smart remote in wood from Samuel Clay, the maker of the Newsblur service and app on iOS (and android). With these four buttons remote you can control your home kit based accessories as well as other tools and apps.
To control your accessories, you need either an iOS device or a mac to receive the signals from the turntouch and send signals out. (I used an old iPad Air that I had been using as a recipe book and music player).
I backed the TurnTouch on kickstarter soon after I had picked up my first hue lamps. I immediately saw the value of the controller providing a different option to manipulate my smart home settings.
Connecting the turn touch was very easy just open the Bluetooth settings on the device you want to use and then press all four buttons at once. You can then pair it up.
The device has four different tools you can set up for each position. At the moment, I have two which I use the most. My hue lights and music, however there are many other accessories you can control including the HomeKit scenes, the camera, sonos, nest, wemo, iFTTT, and custom URLs (which include internal URLs for your device).
IFTTT opens up a lot of possibilities thanks to the many services which tie in as do the URL possibilities. This also makes it open to further services in the future.
A final thing worth commenting on is the size and portability of this thing. In the initial promo shots, I incorrectly assumed it would be about two inches bigger in diameter and be a bit weighty as it was made of wood. In fact its really light and very pocketable. This makes it great for taking around the house and taping to change settings, but it can be hard to see if you place it on a wooden table!
Overall, I’m really happy with the turn touch and can’t wait to set up some more interesting automations with it. Of course, I can still use Siri on my phone or watch to control the lights, but it really helps people who don’t have a phone on the system like my in-laws when they come to visit.
If you have some home automation system, I’d recommend checking the TurnTouch out. It starts at $69 for the mahogany version and you can pay more for a rosewood version or “pedestal” to host it.