My Neeo is a major disappointment due to fundamental software Problems

Over the last decade I tested a dozen different universal remotes and all of them failed to provide a simple and “wife friendly” user experience. (Pick it up and use without any explanation.)  Then came the Neeo Kickstarter Project with a bold claim: to end all the hassle and to provide an easy to use remote for all equipment in the house.

Two years later it finally arrived in a stylish package. The hardware did not disappoint (except for the unlit buttons) but the software is (in my opinion) a major fail.

Abstract layers (recipes, rooms, explicit device screens) between the user and the hardware makes an intuitive usage impossible. It forces the user in to the logic of the developer instead of letting the user to decide what she/he wants to do with the hardware.

Let me explain what I mean using my self made remote which I created to bridge the long waiting time for my Neeo. (I included some images of the interface of my main remote and one picture of a small Nextion touchscreen display I use for certain interaction with my home server.) It’s not about the style or the look of the icons, it’s about the possibilities how to customize the user experience.

My smart home runs on FHEM which is a free smart-home control server application running on inexpensive hardware (RasberryPi for Example).

It can control nearly every device which you can think of in a smart home context, among them of course all the equipment around my TV.

Some of my multimedia equipment is network enabled and FHEM controls them directly without IR. The others are controlled through a Harmony Hub.

Harmony is like Neeo. It forces me to do things their (Logitech) way.

Fortunately I only have to define the equipment in the Harmony app, but nothing else. FHEM is then aware of the devices and I can get all available commands via the FHEM interface.

Here lies one major advantage over Neeo. Neeo’s database is incomplete regarding the functions of a device. For example it only provides the input names of my Samsung TV by number (Input1, Input2...Input15). The Harmony Hub supplies the real names (Input HDMI1, Input Component 1, etc).

As FHEM is server based, it can be used from everywhere, even from outside of the house regardless whether I’m in reach of my WLAN or not.

This might be considered uninteresting for a remote but we are no longer in the 1980s where a remote only had to control a TV and a VHS. Today's smart homes are far more complex and there is simply no room left for expensiv remote only gadgets. (Which the Neeo unfortunately currently is.) Therefor the Neeo’s brain should be able to become a control center for a smart home bridging all the different devices. 

Two important features of FHEM are dummy devices and Notifications. A Dummy can be a simple switch or it can have more complex readings. A Notify observes a device (or a dummy) and if there is a change in the device it executes user defined commands.

This way a “Recipe” can be easily created as a list of device commands (set TV ON; set SAT ON; set AMP ON etc.) started by a notify. Conditional statements and timing commands are also available and this way complex control tasks can be easily created as well.

One of the Extension to FHEM is the Tablet UI. It's a tile based interface for switches, sliders, images, charts, knobs and all sort of other interface entities.

The display of a user interface unit can be built up out of individual pages and each page is  divided in tiles. Just like Neeo with its rooms or device pages and the buttons on them.

The major difference is that one has the complete control over the content and the look of the pages.

Each individual page is a simple HTML file and the tiles within are simple CSS blocks describing the look and function of the widgets. Icons are vector based but images can also be used on certain types of widgets as button faces.

Everything is nicely documented with tons of examples. This way even inexperienced users can quickly create (or rather cut & paste) an interface without the need of any SDK or complex programming. To cater for the vast variety of smart home devices there are a lot of widget types to choose from. Buttons, rotary buttons, sliders, color wheels, input fields/lists and many more.

A TabletUI Wysiwyg editor for those who don't want to "write" HTML code is also available. (Something like this should be available for Neeo!)

Every device which can display a HTML page and accepts touch input can be used as an input device. In combination of a kiosk style browser and an orientation sensor aware tool (like Tasker on Android) a cheap tablet can become a proper remote control with "screen off" timer and “pick it up -> turn on screen” function. (Like Neeo.)

The user has direct access to the display and knobs (if the displaying unit has any hardware buttons) and can define them the way she/he wants.

There are no limitations to mix functions from different devices for the hardware buttons and no Starting Recipe Circles to masquerade lags.

I let my wife test my remote setup and then I refine it until she has no complains and can use it intuitively. She rejected to use the Neeo because of its unfriendly and complicated usage logic.

I’m sorry to say but Neeo has not fulfilled any of the “easy to use” and “simple to set up” claims which were made during the kickstarter promotion. The hardware is capable of a lot more but not with the current software. A cheap, used tablet and Harmony Hub with a free software running on a 30 Euro Raspberry Pi delivers a much more sophisticated user experience as the very expensive Neeo!
Of course on a 7” tablet I can display more content than on the small display of the Neeo but exactly that is the reason why the Neeo should provide me all customization options, so I can get the most out of the small display size and this without lags.

My Nextion Display (driven by a WeMos D1 Mini, connected through WiFi to FHEM) has a similar display size and it provides full customization and most of all instant execution of the user input without “Starting Recipes Circles” and waiting times.

Our Neeo is currently a 400 Euro paperweight. I still hope that one day it will become just as versatile and powerful as my home made remote. I'm afraid though that this will never happen with the current user interface philosophy. You can keep on tweaking it for years but this won't fix the fundamental design flaw. I have it for over a year now and altough I keep installing the new firmwares on it, I don't see any significant improvement. This is very sad as the project started out as a game changer and the hardware has much more potential in it.

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  • Patrick Jeff Raphael How many posts like this will be necessary for you to decide to communicate on the roadmap of software development?

    Our disappointment is due to delays in dev but also to the lack of visibility on what is or is not being implemented. You are doing a huge work on integration of protocols and devices but the UI remains terribly poor and misses customization.

    Until you release more drivers, packages and "intelligence" for the Neeo device, you must let the users customize the UI to build something usable. Current framework is really restrictive: some people prefer grouping by device or activity rather than per room, pages layout should be adjustable (why so small buttons or click zones on pages?), hard buttons should be assigned to functions, icons and buttons should be editable from a library.

    I hope this is taken into account in near upcoming updates.

    Reply Like 10
  • As I wrote in my first post, I'm not satisfied with my Neeo because the limitations imposed by the current software leave the power of the remote unused.
    Although the display is small, it would be still possible to control much more functions efficiently if the user interface would provide the necessary solutions.
    I'm not a UI designer but based on my experience with my self made remote, I have ideas how I would like to use my Neeo. It's my personal view and certainly not for everyone's taste but maybe it gives some input to the developers.

    I created a short video to show a UI concept which I have in mind for my Neeo.
    In my opinion the hardware is more than capable to drive such an interface.
    I would really like to see some significant development in this area...
    Please excuse the unprofessional presentation and the bad quality UI Images. Currently I simply don't have the time to do it properly.

    Reply Like 4
      • Geoff T
      • Geoff_T
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Steve Kozma That is superb. Something along those lines was what I was hoping for when I got my Neeo. The current reality is such a waste of the hardware. All remote manufacturers seem to suffer with the same sort of "you will organise things our way" mentality. I now have a Logitech Elite, and while I've managed to get it pretty usable now, you still need to find ways to work around their restrictive way of organising things. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Geoff T Thanks Geoff.🙂
      The whole situation around Neeo is sooo frustrating. Not just that they are so slow with the development but they just don't get it, that their system will be obsolete very soon.
      - Infrared control is on the way out. Half of my multimedia equipment is already network ready and the control over Wifi, Bluetooth or wired network is much faster than IR. I only buy new gear if I can control it via network. So the IR function of the Brain is no longer important (for me at least) and can be actually much better done by the Harmony Hub. (Faster and more reliable as the Brain).
      - Smart home control is getting more and more complex as there are so many standards and so many companies. Most people don't care that many of the new smart home equipment is tied to some cloud in the internet. This will be more and more of a concern in the future because of data leaks and the concern of loosing control of very personal data. (Cameras in TVs, MICs in "Assistants", etc.)
      I personally keep everything inside my LAN so I need a smart home server (in my case FHEM) which is capable of keeping all the gear connected and powerful enough to run a database for logging and plotting values and so on. The Brain will never be able to support all the hardware variations (the development team is too small for that), it is not powerful enough and it is actually an unnecessary duplicate of a server (with all the hassle of setting up the devices).  
      In the future many people will use some sort of a home server (be it local running on a router or cloud based like Alexa, Google Home, etc.) so there is no need for another one (the Brain).

      To use the Neeo Remote the way I envisioned it in my video would only require a simple firmware for the Neeo Remote with a handful of functions:

      - Wifi Connection management (an ESP8266 board does that with ease for 3 $!)
      - Battery loading and maintenance 
      - Driver for the touch screen
      - Driver for the buttons 
      - A small web browser capable of displaying simple HTML pages with swipe support.

      Everything else (delivering the pages to the display and processing the input) could be done by the smart home server. A good developer writes such a firmware in a weekend.


      I can't even imagine how Neeo wants to deal with the PRO users... Those installation professionals have much more complex requirements as we have and they have far less time to wait for a solution. The development team was not even able to provide an out of the box, seamless, basic functionality in 3 years so how they want to provide fast solutions for PROs?
      I don't want to see Neeo fail and disappear but in my opinion they are not very well set up for the future. 

      Reply Like 2
    • Steve Kozma Awesome concept!

      Reply Like 1
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Steve Kozma 

      To use the Neeo Remote the way I envisioned it in my video would only require a simple firmware for the Neeo Remote with a handful of functions:

      - Wifi Connection management (an ESP8266 board does that with ease for 3 $!)
      - Battery loading and maintenance
      - Driver for the touch screen
      - Driver for the buttons
      - A small web browser capable of displaying simple HTML pages with swipe support.

      Theoretically, NEEO could control much more of the hardware like Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth. Important would be that things like Bluetooth or Zigbee are useable at all. You do not need drivers for the touch screen or for the hardware buttons. You can react in an external home automation system to any key that is pressed on the NEEO.

      The only thing that would be missing to implement the things that you would like to do would be the option to call an HTML page on the touch screen as the start page of the NEEO remote. Then every integrator or user could build his surface completely arbitrarily and thus control what he wants. Also, the cumbersome writing of drivers would be eliminated because other systems have long been able to control all devices over the network, the only thing missing would be an HTML surface as you built yourself, which the NEEO Remote can display on the remote display.

      Then the eternal waiting for NEEO would come to an end and one could design freely or use a color picker and is not limited to the limited design possibilities of the SDK.

      Reply Like 2
    • Fonzo Yes, a couple of small changes to the Brain would allow that (although with an unnecessary overhead caused by the Brain).
      Unfortunately, what I see is that Neeo is so much focused on the Brain and trying to implement server side things (things that other server solutions already implemented much better) that they don't have the time to take care of the interface. Currently the interface is on a dead end track (for me). There is so much "hard coded" usage method in it, that it's not possible to tweak it any other way. Hard coded hardware buttons are the prime example here.
      I also don't like the idea that the Remote is completely dependent on the Brain. (Needs to be on the same Wlan etc.).
      Being able to use only the remote (with a 3rd party server) and optionally use the Brain as a "semi dumb" IR device would be a much faster user experience. Both in terms of setup and daily usage. (There is a video on Youtube where the scrolling speed of the Neeo is compared to a bluetooth remote. Going trough the Brain and IR insted of the direct route is so much slower.)
      In my opinion, programming such a "semi PRO" firmware would be a relatively simple task and could be done quickly but it would make a lot of people very happy.
      The normal user could still use the official firmware to use the Neeo as originally intended and the real PRO could offload some tasks to Brain if it's needed. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Steve Kozma have a look at openHAB. The NEEO integration let you do most things you want. Custom put together your own “devices”, advanced logic etc. The Homey intergration I’ve built does almost the same but OpenHab is free and homey is a commercial product. (My App is free as in beer)

      I’m controlling every device in our home that has an API or working with zwave, zigbee, ir, 433mhz, 868mhz. All possible because of my homey integration and the same goes for the OpenHab integration. Both intergrations use the NEEO SDK API’s. This way a user can build a SDK driver with just a few clicks in a GUI and without the need for advanced technical skills.

      maybe OpenHab is what you’re looking for. Might be worth to try.

      Reply Like 1
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Niels de Klerk  I do not believe that openHAB here is a solution as FHEM is older than openHAB and can control as many devices. The problem is rather the user interface from the SDK and the possibilities of the SDK and there it makes no difference if this is now FHEM or openHAB or any other system, the possibilities are limited by NEEO and not by the external systems. As long as I can not use HTML pages this makes no difference. And even a color picker cannot be used, that is not dependent on the target system but of what is possible at the moment to display on the NEEO screen. Even font size and appearance cannot be adjusted or change icons to individual icons. All of this is completely independent of the external system, but ultimately can only be improved by NEEO or possibilities are created that can also be used by external systems to create appealing user interfaces.

      Reply Like 1
    • Fonzo I think you don’t fully understood what I meant. OpenHab has a full NEEO integration. This opens up a lot of missing features and allows customization. Changing what a hard button does or what soft buttons are exposed etc etc.

      Reply Like 1
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Niels de Klerk Yes you can write your own driver, certainly many developers would start if only the possibilities were not so limited. FHEM were also the first to integrate a Harmony properly. So if the need is there, the FHEM users would certainly do that for the NEEO as well. The problem that one has is the design possibilities for a useful user interface that just meets the demands of the customer and not the way of thinking about how NEEO imagines a user interface. For example, lamps can not put on the home screen and you can only use lamps in recipes and thus each time this circle is displayed or you can not just place a slider somehow, which makes it at the moment quite unattractive to invest time in development from external systems. If the external system has a better user interface and the only difference are the hardware buttons of the NEEO remote, it is also little incentive to even connect NEEO to external systems. But if the NEEO Pro should not become a storekeeper, each integrator will insist that there are more customization options, because that's exactly what a customer demands from an integrator.

      The most important, above all, would be that NEEO ever even builds the things for which the device has been designed and advertised, namely the control of modern AV devices, for the control of these devices support of Bluetooth is essential.

      Reply Like 1
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Niels de Klerk It is more about building a nice uI for the neeo display for example

      https://www.designyourway.net/blog/inspiration/media-players-in-mobile-user-interfaces-37-examples/

      https://www.pinterest.de/pin/328199891579485908/

      http://www.designtory.net/free-psd/free-musicapp-ui-kit/

      https://psdfreebies.com/psd/music-media-player-app-interface-free-psd/

      if more possibilities are given to be able to display a corresponding ui on the NEEO display for a developer or integrator, then one or the other professional system would also be connected to neeo

      Reply Like 1
    • Niels de Klerk Thanks Niels for the suggestion but it would mean to give up my FHEM configuration and start over in OpenHAB just to be able to use the Neeo. I'm afraid the Neeo is not that good that I would do that.
      As Fronzo stated, the problem is that Neeo is too closed and does not fulfill the promises that they gave at the start. I doubt that an integrator would ditch it's current preferred system just to be able to use the Neeo. 

      I must admit that I have not looked at the Neeo SDK so I don't know what possibilities are there to be found. It took me some time to work myself in to FHEM but what I found was a very logical and straightforward system. If there was a problem, it was most of the time my mistake (syntax error or incorrect definitions). I miss this logical and straightforward behavior in Neeo. 

      I searched the Net & Youtube for the OpenHAB integration but as I see it does not change the look and feel of the Neeo itself. It seems to extend what you can control with the Neeo wich is a good start but you still have to accept the Neeo way of controlling things.

      It's interesting that no one from Neeo chimes in here to give some sort of an outlook where the future of Neeo actually lies. Does Neeo Pro mean opening up the firmware to allow far greater customization or it's just marketing to push the current Neeo in more lucrative channels?
      As I said earlier, I see a lot of potential in Neeo but not in it's current form. If there is a road map which clearly leads this gadget toward a really useful and integral part of smart homes then I would stay tuned. The occasional firmware updates with minor bug fixes are certainly not qualify as a clear plan for the future...

      Reply Like 3
      • Beni
      • Beni
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Niels de Klerk I'm using openhab to control my NVIDIA Shield with the harmony binding via Bluetooth. But the way

      NEEO Remote - NEEO Brain - openHAB - Harmony Hub - NVIDIA Shield

      slows down the reaction Speed of the Bluetooth actions significantly.

       

      NEEO Remote - NEEO Brain - NVIDIA Shield would be MUCH more responsive I guess.

       

      (With the Harmony Remote directly the speed when scrolling is fast, with NEEO and the way over OpenHAB its lagging. So the problem is definitively not the Harmony Hub)

      Maybe the problem is with the NEEO Brain an the timing between commands, unfortunately in the openHAB binding I can only set timings for ON, SWITCH INPUT and OFF, but not the timing between actions (is this correct Tim Roberts ?)

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Beni  Maybe the problem is with the NEEO Brain an the timing between commands

      I have not tried this with a specific sdk driver but if you use forward action of the brain you have at least the problem that only the first keystroke is transmitted. if then the button is pressed no further message is sent via forward action. Therefore, no scrolling is possible but the button must be pressed again. Here the NEEO brain simply has to send more messages that the button remains pressed. Otherwise, I personally see no difference in the speed of response when using Bluetooth via an external system.

      Reply Like
      • Beni
      • Beni
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Fonzo Hmm in my case it works when press and hold the button, it scrolls until I release it (But it laggs, its not fluid as with the Harmony Remote).

       

      I think press and hold only works for the Hardware Buttons, not for the Software buttons

      Reply Like
    • Steve Kozma I coildn't agree more with your current issues with neeo..

      Reply Like 1
  • When I bought my two (yes two🤦‍♂️) Neeo's, my intention was not to become a programmer and have to learn code and sdks and the like, too busy in life to do that! I wanted to be able to grab my PC or smart phone open the program add my devices and then drag n drop buttons, icons, images, sliders etc. and create my own screens. I wanted to have Tv, lights and what I want like Steve Kozma  is describing MY way, I had a Yamaha Rav 2000 back in the day and this was an awesome remote, simple drag n drop interface. I've had Harmony and their propriety way of programming was to much in the box for me Neeo's is not better😔 I must admit. I agree with Steeve the UI should be simple, not dependant of infrared, Bluetooth capable and not limited to wan. Neeo's group do not respond in fact they are non existent in this forum now ( this was not their promise when they created the forum) I believed in this team so much so I bought 2 but I fear we may be looking at a ghost of remotes past😔.  Prove me wrong  speak up Raphael Patrick   

    Reply Like 3
    • Michael Hebert If Neeo don't wake up and chime in here soon, there really is something wrong with them.  Pictures and videos  above reminds me of my hopes and dreams for this remote in the waiting time before receiving it one year ago. So sad we still have the same useless interface from the kickstarter campain from several years ago..

      Reply Like 2
  • I don't think we will get any response from the "officials" and there is a logical reason for that. 

    The promises Neeo made in the Kickstarter Project were quite bold. Unfortunately they could not deliver that perfect remote. Kind of understandable, as most of these Projects are somewhat unfinished at delivery. 
    After over a year the Remote is still far away of what was promised and this is actually a big Problem and certainly everyone at Neeo is aware of this. But what should they do?
    Entering a discussion with us would only prove that there are many areas where the Remote doesn't function the way it was expected. Responding with empty promises would make things even worse. The discussion would be also not very favorable in regard of future founding of Neeo. A quick fix for all of these problems can not be made as these are fundamental differences between what the software is able to deliver now and what is expected by some of us.
    So the only logical choice is to ignore the "Noise"... it will go away soon.

    Which is unfortunately true. We will give up one day and sell our Neeos (if there will be anyone out there actually wanting one) and so peace of mind will be restored at the Neeo headquarter. 

    They can then concentrate on the PROs and (hopefully) this will save them from disappearing completely.
     

    Reply Like
  • I think it’s not fair to only stick with the things that NEEO can’t do yet in regards to the things that where mentioned in the kickstarter. In contrast, many other features have been included in the firmware updates since. Most of them where new features. HDMI-CEC for instance is unique for a remote. Now I do understand very well that some users are not happy that for instance Bluetooth or Nest are still not available. I also believe that NEEO should interact more about the how and why regards these features. 

    Other suggestions here wil most likely never happen. Displaying HTML based widget for instance is just not possible. Although the app is HTML based the remote is not. The remote won’t be able to render HTML with the performance we and NEEO would except as usable. All components used by the remote and the App have to be designed on both platforms. With every firmware update new components are added. Although a display full of widgets, buttons and whistles will look cool, it certainly won’t contribute to the wife acceptance factor. 

    it’s certain that the UI will stay limited to the design that NEEO offers. While new components are introduced. It may get a new style at some point but building your own UI components will not happen, even if they would make all code open source. 

    There is a general misconception that building your own integration requires a lot of time and coding skills. As I pointed out many times, integrations like those for OpenHab and Homey let you build your own driver with a couple of mouse clicks. Your driver can include buttons sliders text fields images and more, just with a click. If you’re using some other tool than just forward these commands to your favorite tool. Yesterday I’ve built an API for our mechanical ventilation system (hooked up a Arduino like product with a wireless module). To integrate that with NEEO it took me less then five minutes and I haven’t touched a single line of code. Just opened my homey App, added a new device than tapped on add component a couple of times, then defined to act on these components. Opened the NEEO App, searched and added the device and done. With every NEEO in our home I can now control our mechanical ventilation system.

    while I’m still waiting for components like a color picker and some others. I’m sure they will come one at a time. It certainly doesn’t withhold me and my family to control everything in our home. I never needed to instruct my wife only my son when he couldn’t read yet. Now he can read and uses the remote probably more then I do.

     I’m sure the NEEO isn’t a good fit for everyone and many reasons could be behind that. I’m sure that personal reasons are true, no one would invest so much time to comment here to show what you’re missing. It also tells that NEEO does something very well if they wouldn’t then no one would bother leaving a comment anyway. 

    I hope that those that are disappointed can at least find a workaround. I’m certain that 99% of the usecases are possible. Maybe in a different form. Posting concrete goals you want to achieve with NEEO will certainly result in other users reaching out to help.

     I’m hoping to add a bit of contrast and clearance in what is not possible and more importantly what is possible.

    Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Niels de Klerk  In contrast, many other features have been included in the firmware updates since. Most of them where new features. HDMI-CEC for instance is unique for a remote.

      If this unique function would then work or any help would be provided for CEC setup, so that this works reliably, that would be alright. Unfortunately, the reality is that the support itself does not know how to make settings for CEC in some devices so that a device works reliably with NEEO at all.

      The remote won’t be able to render HTML with the performance we and NEEO would except as usable.

      If that is the fact, of course, that is unfortunate and can not be changed anymore since the hardware is as it is. But you could then at least ask why the design of the NEEO brain was planed with so weak hardware that now especially for the NEEO Pro the hardware is adjusted and all the buyers of the NEEO are left in the rain with a not finished user-friendly user interface.

      while I’m still waiting for components like a color picker and some others. I’m sure they will come one at a time. It certainly doesn’t withhold me and my family to control everything in our home.

      That depends on the users, if you use a system where everything is possible why should the family change to something that is a bit worse than usual. Therefore, it is e.g. with the main reason why my family does not use the device at the moment at all.

      no one would invest so much time to comment here to show what you’re missing. It also tells that NEEO does something very well if they wouldn’t then no one would bother leaving a comment anyway. 

      What NEEO has done very well is to announce many things and to promise functions that are not implemented until today. Because of these promises people have spent a lot of money because they have hoped for such benefits from the product. This then explains one or the other comment, after all, one would like to be able to use for the paid money than the functions that have been marketed.

      That you can control other systems is certainly a huge advantage, but can only be an option for users who already own and use such systems.  No normal user is happy if he has purchased a device and then pointed out that he should now buy more hardware, just so that the device is as useful and he can control all the devices as he would has expected by NEEO alone.

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Niels de Klerk  Displaying HTML based widget for instance is just not possible. Although the app is HTML based the remote is not. The remote won’t be able to render HTML with the performance we and NEEO would except as usable.

      I personally do not think that an ARM Cortex M4 should not be able to show that. There are also special browsers for embedded iot systems such as Storyboard Suite for UI design, so that should theoretically be possible with this kind of hardware.

      Reply Like 1
    • Fonzo I believe the NEEO PRO runs on exactly same hardware.

      Reply Like 1
    • Alessandro deGol Fonzo Currently i also believe the same here. The Hardware is not changed, only some chips are updated to the newest Hardware, maybe also an RAM / Memory enhancement was made. But else these seem to use the same Configs.

      But no one will be able to tell exactly until new FCC appovals are online or The Hardware can be held in hands. But as far as i see, no new FCC documents available, means only small changes without influence are made.

      Reply Like 1
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Alessandro deGol  as   Raphael has mentioned

      NEEO PRO version is featuring even more powerful hardware

      So I assume that it is not the same hardware. Here there is also an urgent need for improvement, e.g. when loading the graphics in lists as in Sonos, that's not acceptable for a Pro remote compared to the NEEO.

      Reply Like
    • Fonzo The graphics are currently send over WiFi and confirmed via 6lowpan before they are Displayed, i think there will be improvement, when 6lowpan works better (currently there are lots of issues with it) thats also why NEEO Link currently should stay disabled!

      Reply Like
    • Markus Mahr Fonzo 

      Exactly Markus.

      @Fonzo
      It wouldn't be the first time NEEO has made bombastic announcement and then fail to deliver.
      I doubt much improvement can be done for loading graphics since the RAM for the remote is only 32MB and probably the speed of the memory doesn't sustain a faster load either.

      Reply Like
  • Niels de Klerk said:
    Although a display full of widgets, buttons and whistles will look cool, it certainly won’t contribute to the wife acceptance factor. 

    Well, maybe something is wrong with my wife but she rejects the Neeo completely as it is user unfriendly and slow. She is nerved by the starting recipe circles and the by the fact that if she wants to do certain things, she has to swipe a lot to different pages. She hates that some commands are not executed every time and she doesn't know why. Her opinion about the Neeo: useless and expensive.

    She is perfectly okay with my self made remote tough. And here lies the major difference: I can design the screen how she will. Put whatever UI tool (switch, color picker, slider, etc.) she request on the screen, where ever she wants it and change quickly if she complains. The speed of the Neeo is slow if you count the seconds required by the recipe circle, the time needed to find the correct page and the not executed commands. My video shows clearly how the smaller screen of the Neeo could be used much more effectively as the current way of Neeo. 

     

    Niels de Klerk said:
    d isplaying HTML based widget for instance is just not possible. Although the app is HTML based the remote is not. The remote won’t be able to render HTML with the performance we and NEEO would except as usable.

    Honestly I don't believe that the hardware of the remote could not handle simple HTML pages. We could argue about the use of images as icon faces but vector icons should be absolutely no problem. (As they are no problem now.)
    please don't think of HTML as your average Web site. These are memory eating monsters but a simple HTML page (as used by FHEM's Tablet UI) is small and fast and all the necessary pages are in the LAN. This is just an example of how a page description could be done. I don't need HTML if Neeo has a better idea to design and use the interface.
    The UI is currently hard coded in the firmware and that is a major limitation.
    The speed in which the smart home business is evolving is amazing and the development speed of the Neeo is a snail compared to it. There is a point where the development needs to be stopped and the achieved goals needs to be evaluated. If it's clear that with the current development direction the product will never catch up to the ever increasing demands then someone has to pull the plug and start the process over. 
    There is another things to consider as well: a happy customer is not the same as one who bought its gear for a lot of money and sticks to it due to the high price although he is frustrated and unhappy... 

    Reply Like
    • Steve Kozma I don't see issues by my wife and my parents. Both are happy with the remote and both are coming from the Logitech Harmony (Series One). The Circle itself is only unneccessary for direct accessable Gear (e.g. Lamps) but when i start the TV the remote is finished before the Smart TV is even ready to display a picture. Main control then is available through the Favorite screen, all other are used by the Directional buttons (using a Settop Box to deliver the Picture) Thereofr i can't understand when you say it is to slow when used, may i ask to to deeper explain me that?

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Markus Mahr Both are happy with the remote and both are coming from the Logitech Harmony

      Now even the Logitech Elite costs only half or a third depending on the special sale of what an NEEO costs on Amazon at the moment. Therefore you can expect more for the much higher price tag then. If you have rather compare with the users who still use a Pronto or other current remote controls of other manufacturers in the upper price range. Other users are certainly the users who use universal control in the form of an app. Everything here is configurable and customizable in an app, the only downside is the missing hardware buttons. For users who are hoping for a benefit from NEEO, this would be above all the use of the hardware keys with otherwise consistent user comfort compared to an app solution.

      when you say it is to slow when used, may i  ask to to deeper explain me that?

      The fastest way to turn light on / off is still a key. Well NEEO has no special button you could assign a lamp, so far only the display remains. Therefore the biggest wish from my family is to have a button all the time on the top off the display of the NEEO remote for direct access to turn a lamp on / off. Every time you have to change remote pages to a shortcut page or another recipe slows down the operation in the daily use so much in comparison to a simple keystroke that is simply not used by my family.

      Reply Like
    • Fonzo I really looking forward to the time neeo will be customisable, but actually i also can understand the approach neeo took. They are like other comanys in the tech industrie as well. Some will push their way to the user and the user must work with it. it is like the first (or second iphone) and still like apple hardware, this is something good approch when it comes to security and support for different generations (if you know your hardware and software) you can use the resources better.

      Currently i hope (as all do) that the Bluettoth will come earlier then later, so it helps to support more devices. My second wish is the SDK managed Driver "store".

      But that are personal needs and likes, i use the remote and the Brain daily (also my Parents do) and fully get rid of the Logitech remote.

      Don't get me wron, i fully understand the complains about everything that is written about communication, timelines and all that stuff. I will fly to ISE this Year and again talk to some of the NEEO Team. Don't put much hope that this will change soon, as the Team seems very Busy and overworked with the current situation (at least i guess).

      But i'm also on Niels side the remote has features available that others missing and with each of the releases there where "new Features" that are supported. Also the Firmware is much better then it was when i first used the NEEO.

      I like the Way users can help each other here on Planet NEEO and actually can't see a full NON WOKRING Setup. Yeah, there are thinks that are still missing, but i have a working remote that is able to control my setup.

      Would i suggest the remote currently? Maybe, Maybe not, depends on what knowledge the Questioner have and what he likes to do. For Controlling Sonos, i definitly would recommend the Remote, For Controling AV Gear, yes, if it is IR currently. HDMI-CEC is not my personal favorite to control something as it is also a very unreliable way (at least at some implementations). To control Lamps or such things, it depends on what is needed. I have HUE Color but i don't use it very often and Much. I normaly switch it on and off only.

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Markus Mahr  I like the Way users can help each other here on Planet NEEO and actually can't see a full NON WOKRING Setup. 

      I am more than happy that there are a lot of helpful users who are trying to help somehow.
      The problem is that this help then often stops where it is not just a problem with the setup, but a technical problem of the product. And here the users cannot help each other any further but are damned that finally, NEEO will bring the product to work.

      Examples of everything that does not work for me personally I can give you enough:
      - PS4 recipe does not show, so the recipe cannot be turned off
      - Nvidia Shield recipe does not show, so the recipe cannot be turned off
      - Dreambox turns off immediately after turning it on by a recipe

      In short, with the NEEO everything works so far for me if it is all about IR control. Once a device is controlled via CEC, the chaos starts.

      Apart from the fact that there are several devices that should work according to the database but then just not supported such Nest and others.

      If everything would work for all users, there would be no demand here in the forum or users waiting for a firmware update, so that problems with their devices and the NEEO are resolved.

      Reply Like
    • Fonzo That the Recipes are not shown, when started by NEEO can be related to an issue, may you check the Power On recipe and if the "show Control Step" is available in both Recipes? If this is missing, try to add it again, then the recipe might shown as active again. This should also only happen with the remote, in the app it should show up. If this is not the case, did you try a Redo Magic?

      Which exact Dreambox did you use? There may be the Power Toggle send out to long, but if this is the case, this should be correctable by Andy I had the same issue back in the past. The command was trimmed and since then it works. (tested a lot with Dreambox IR Driver before using the SDK).

      You are fully right with your statment to the issues. It is always helpfull to have a place to discuss and help each other. Also hope to see some steps in the FWD direction by NEEO.

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Markus Mahr may you check the Power On recipe and if the "show Control Step" is available in both Recipes

      this is part of both recipes. The exact same behavior in the app and in the remote.

      I guess it has something to do with the number of devices added. I have done a factory reset. It works fine until only one device is added. Because a device is connected to the tv and the beamer I have to add the same device again. Suddenly after adding the second device, the recipe of this device does not work anymore.

      The problem with switching on/off could be resolved. It is a setting in the AVR. You have to disable HDMI Control, the NEEO Brain has to be connected to AUX2 and the setting in the AVR for HDMI Pass-Through must set to On. The HDMI PassThrough source has to be fixed to AUX2.

      But the problem with the recipe not showing up is still there if a device is added a second time. I use a Dreambox 920.

      Reply Like
    • Fonzo For the Dreambox, Andy should come back for sure. For the Other Issues, i would like to know more about it. I opened up a Topic over here:

      https://planet.neeo.com/topic/x1wl8b

      If you would like to join, maybe we can find out something. If you allready have an open topic for that, sorry!

      Reply Like
  • Steve Kozma The remote has 32MB of RAM (source) so HTML pages are not an option. Also if you sniff the traffic you'll see what's the format of the pages, pretty old tech, I would say.

    I agree with you on most parts and also with your wife, there are simply many technical gaps however I believe the soft gaps are even bigger.
    I imagine if someone today would have to buy a phone and find "workarounds" as someone suggested above to make phone calls, surf the web or take photos. I am saying a phone because a 400$ smartphone is doable these days.
    I think it's an outrageous product with a high price tag for what it has to offer. The hardware itself is less than 50$ to make, and then you have >300$ for ....
    I myself wasn't able to use NEEO in my setup with a home theater system, TV, Apple TV, Hue lights in a reliable, predictable way. I would have to spend hours and hours just to setup it and still I wouldn't be able to do the things I want/can do with the normal remote. Please don't tell me that the workaround is to navigate 50 screens, use my phone and the remote to just to turn up the volume on my home cinema system.

    Reply Like 1
    • Alessandro deGol Sorry, but i don't think you would be able to get the Hardware for that price. Yes, if you only consider the plain hardware costs itself all would be fine. But you also need to consider the machines needed to test everything and the Build price from that needs to be rolled to each unit. As there is no Endless Producing (like Samsung, Apple, or Amazon do with their tech), NEEO has to build these Maschines and use them to build the Units, if then nobody (or only a small amout) are selled in retail, you need to stop production to not put money out the window for units that are not selled and need to be stored. Also it needs to be considered that it required different Chips for different selling locations what makes it more expensive to build as only small badges can be made.

      Reply Like
    • Markus Mahr I actually think that the hardware NEEO has you can get cheaper. China is insanely cheap and NEEO is made there. The only thing that is required a design for the circuit board. Machines to test what? I doubt NEEO tests anything. In regards to compliance that's a one time thing.

      Reply Like
    • Alessandro deGol You can actually Read something about that over on the Blog:

      e.g. https://planet.neeo.com/t/k9fqh6/the-making-of-neeo

      Also there was a Entry about shipping the Testing Units over to China and Customs clarification. But i don't have found it actually. The Blog was very helpfull and good Infos where available (for a short time period) currently it is sadly very low used...

      Reply Like
    • Markus Mahr Those are industrial robots. That is not a NEEO factory, it's mostly a contractor that does manufacturing for dozens of companies. You give them the design and they do the manufacturing.
      LE: You can actually tell that just by the numbers of people complaining that they received a defect remote, lots of them with display issues.

      Reply Like
    • Alessandro deGol Of course this is also the Factory that builds the NEEO's but you also see some of the Tester that where build and engineered from NEEO. I don't find the articel (it may also be a post over at Kickstarter - Update) and there it was stated. Thats why i have written, that this is not everything that was posted about the manufacturing. If you willed, you can search for it by yourself, don't know if you have access to KS and the Update posts or not, but it definitly had a written articel about it. (This was also one major case, the initial shipment was delayed)

      Reply Like
  • Alessandro deGol said:
    The remote has 32MB of RAM (source) so HTML pages are not an option. Also if you sniff the traffic you'll see what's the format of the pages, pretty old tech, I would say.

    Thanks for the info, I must admit I didn't know that. 😕 The fine design has blended me and I thought the internal hardware can keep up with the high end exterior. This begs the question why would someone use a relatively high res display with that small amount of RAM? The Neeo is a 3-4 year old design and even in that time memory prices where not expensive.
    Anyway, your info puts an end to my quest to try to get the most out of Neeo.  It will join the other failed tech gadgets on my shelf. 😔

    Reply Like 2
    • @Steve Kozma  The CPU is also very weak, I get it's "just" a remote but still.

      Sorry to hear that mate but welcome to this exclusive club.

      Reply Like 1
    • Alessandro deGol Too bad that club is not so exclusive anymore.. I still use mine and have made it cover my most basic needs. But as I use both a tv and projector in my setup, it often fails in its logic... Its to much to expect I guess..

      Reply Like 1
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