This Gadget Wants to Make Your TV Remote Obsolete

A new Kickstarter campaign wants to help consumers get rid of their TV and cable box remote controls, and instead just use the remote of their favorite streaming box for everything: Sideclick attaches to remote controls of popular streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV, adding a few extra buttons to turn on the TV set, control the volume and change the channel.

Sideclick is essentially a universal remote control that uses infrared just like a plain old TV remote, which is exactly why it should work with almost all TV sets. But unlike a traditional universal remote control, it doesn’t try to copy the look of an existing TV remote. Instead, just comes with a bare minimum of eight buttons.

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Sideclick also features a snap-on mechanism that makes it possible to attach it directly to the remote control of a streaming device. The company behind it is currently raising funds to finish productions, and says it will be able to ship Sideclick by December. There’s no word on final pricing, but Sideclick has been available for preorder for as little as $18 through Kickstarter.

The Sideclick campaign is interesting because it tries to solve a key pain point of many existing streaming devices. Apple TV, Roku  and others come with their own dedicated remote controls that are better designed and easier to use than TV or cable remotes with their countless buttons.

But to keep things simple, these streaming device remotes don’t interact with the TV itself, which means that consumers need to still reach for their TV remote to do basic tasks like turning on the TV set or changing the volume. By adding this functionality to the streaming remote, Sideclick essentially makes the regular remote control obsolete — which could make it that much easier for consumers to directly jump to their favorite streaming shows, and ignore linear television altogether.

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