Home > Android, Hardware, Video > $20 Xiaomi Mi Smart Remote Center Controls Infrared Home Appliances via Your Smartphone

$20 Xiaomi Mi Smart Remote Center Controls Infrared Home Appliances via Your Smartphone

September 28th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Home automation used to be costly and complex to install, and some solutions are still that way, but several devices have dramatically brought the cost down and simplicity up including Orvibo Wiwo S20 WiFi smart socket, now selling for $16, Semlamp SL-011 – an $8 audio controlled relay -,  or smart light bulbs like Yeelight. All three items have the advantage of being plug-and-plug, inexpensive, and controlled wirelessly using your iOS and Android smartphone. There are also been some WiFi, IR and RF gateways on the market, such as Broadlink RM2 / Pro, that can control devices such as smart socker, air conditioner, TV, and items using the 315/433MHz band. If you only want to control IR (and WiFi?) devices, and don’t need to control RF devices, Xiaomi Mi Smart Remote Center sells for half the price for Broadlink Pro for just $19.99 on GearBest.

Xiaomi_Mi_Smart_Remote_AppXiaomi Mi Smart Remote complete specifications might be somewhere on the “Chinese web”, but so far I only have some of the key features :

  • Processor – Marvell MCU
  • Wifi (802.11 b/g/n) connection to smartphone
  • 360 degree all IR remote control up to 20m
  • Misc – Reset button, Power and “activity” LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/1A via USB port
  • Operating Temperature Range – -10 to 50 degrees Celcius
  • Dimension – 10 x 10 x 2.5 cm
  • Weight – 88 grams
  • Material – Black light transmissive material, that reduces reflection, and improves infrared penetration

The device only ships with a USB cable and a user’s manual in Chinese, so you’ll have to provide your own 5V power supply.

Xiaomi_Mi_Smart_Remote

You’ll also need to download and install MiHome app on your Android 4.4 or greater Android smartphone, in order to configure the remote control of your air conditioner, TV, set-top box, AV receiver, etc…  There’s currently no app for iOS. The Android support at least Chinese and English languages.


The video above shows you need to input the product number of your remote control, and I’m not sure if there’s an IR learning function to handle the case where your remote control is not part of the Xiaomi database.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Remote Center can also be found on other shops for around $24 to $26, such as Banggood, Tinydeal, or Aliexpress.

Thank you Onebir!

  1. gicho
    September 28th, 2015 at 13:48 | #1

    The application linked in the article wants permission to make direct phone calls, I would not install such one from outside Google play store.

  2. iridiumsat
    September 29th, 2015 at 07:59 | #2

    Infrared control will lead to a long time big problem with single ir code for toggling controlled device on and off.

    So “Automation” thing is so hard when we’re in those situation unless controlled device support discrete ir code.

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/05/hd-101-discrete-ir-codes/

  3. geeko
    September 29th, 2015 at 14:36 | #3

    TL:DR; avoid for now

    Ordered, played for a moment, but couldn’t get english version no matter what I tried (I have triple ROM boot setup on my LG G3 so I know a bit about Android). It requires Home App from Xiaomi which requires registered account at xiaomi (nuance). After 30minutes of fighting with download of the app from China, I fighted another 60minutes trying to add some of my recievers, TVs, STBS, but I failed and gave up. Google also know veery little and there is no english speaking community writing about this potentially interesting product.

    This product at this state don’t have any practical value, it’s rushed to the market outside China, it doesn’t have even a manual in english…

    I believe resellers are shipping this product outside China without Xiaomi approval, as I found Xiaomi to have very good products, like Pistons 3..

  4. gicho
    September 30th, 2015 at 01:36 | #4

    Maybe the Broadlink Pro is better choice @$34?

  5. geeko
    September 30th, 2015 at 16:29 | #5

    gicho :
    Maybe the Broadlink Pro is better choice @$34?

    App in chinese only? No thanks.

  6. gicho
    September 30th, 2015 at 19:32 | #6

    @geeko
    Broadlink app is in Chinese only? They sell officially their product in Europe, I don’t think this is the case. I know the Xiaomi is Chinese-only, but my impression was that Broadlink is “international”

  7. September 30th, 2015 at 19:37 | #7

    @geeko
    I have never tested Broadlink Pro, but Broadlink SP2 app supports English, or more exactly Chinglish.
    http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/06/27/review-of-broadlink-sp2-wi-fi-smart-plug/

  8. ben
    October 5th, 2015 at 12:36 | #8

    Do this, and/or similar devices (Broadlink RM-Pro Smart , etc ) depend on a database to control a given IR device?

    It’d be nice to have hardware that can learn ANY ir protocol (like Command Fusion IR-Learner , Creston CSP-LIR-USB, Blumoo, etc) but uses open source software (Orvibo S20 socket manager, irdroid, etc ) instead of closed source (ala analysir).

    I think the most flexible approach might be to use an android device with a 3.5mm ir blaster (DSLR.Bot Infrared Transmitter v3, Total Remote IR sender, etc), and port IRP Master to Android so that it can generate the appropriate wav file.

    I think the ZaZaRemote app is closed, and uses the phone’s OTG usb port instead of the audio jack.

  9. Jon Smirl
    October 5th, 2015 at 19:58 | #9

    @ben

    The IR support code in the Linux kernel can deal with any IR protocol your hardware sensor can see. It does not need a database. This code will turn the IR command into a string of eight to ten hex digits.

    What the databases are used for is to tell which of those hex digit strings corresponds to a button on the remote (like Rewind == FF3421ABC). There are two ways to deal with this. Have a great big database for all of the remote controls in the world, or just push the button on the remote and have a program on the Linux box that lets you assign that hex string to a custom keyboard key (you know you just pressed the rewind button, now tell the kernel to associate that hex string with rewind). The kernel comes with a bunch of these map files, but it is easy to build your own from any arbitrary remote control you have laying around.

  10. Someone from the other side
    October 6th, 2015 at 01:19 | #10

    @Jon Smirl
    Any readily available gadget that would do wifi to ir that way? Ideally with an android app today going with it..

  11. Jon Smirl
    October 6th, 2015 at 19:30 | #11

    @Someone from the other side

    Not readily available, but for DIY you can build a wifi to IR bridge for about $3 using the ESP8266. Just google “esp8266 ir”.

  12. vsrp
    December 31st, 2015 at 00:07 | #12

    @geeko
    Hi! I bought this product too. Unfortunately am not able to install. At the second stage of installation of the app onto the Smartremote the installation process getting terminated. Can you please help?

  13. SHMIL
    September 21st, 2017 at 15:21 | #13

    @gicho
    SAME HERE. USELESS

  1. September 29th, 2015 at 14:54 | #1
  2. October 7th, 2015 at 11:45 | #2