Hayo Virtual Remote Controls Review – Smart Home Device Controller?

Hayo is a smart home device that promises to transform the objects and spaces around you into a set of “magical remote controls”. Here’s our Hayo review.

What Is Hayo?

Hayo launched on Indiegogo earlier this month. It just achieved its fundraising target, blowing past its $80,000 target with 10 days still remaining in its campaign.

Hayo promises to create virtual remote controls for your home. With conventional smart home devices, you need to use your smartphone or your voice to control your home.

With Hayo, however, you can transform hand gestures and ordinary objects into virtual remote controls.

It’s a similar idea to Knocki – the smart home device that lets you knock on walls, surfaces, doors, or tables of your home to perform various smart commands. However, Hayo is much more ambitious than Knocki.

Hayo is a black, cylindrical device that stands about 10 inches off the ground. Each Hayo device controls one room of your home. The final retail price is $300. Today, Hayo is available through Indiegogo for $220.

How Does Hayo Work?

Hayo connects to your favorite smart home products and platforms, including the platforms you see with every other smart home system: like IFTTT, Wink, Sonos, and Nest.

After connecting to your smart devices, Hayo will 3D scan your room, then let you create virtual remote controls on top of objects – like your furniture – or right in mid-air. This allows you to control your devices with simple hand motions.

As an example, Hayo recommends making your coffee table a play button for Sonos. Or, you can place an on/off button for your HUE lights right above your bed.

As the company explains, “It’s like using the force for your home”. You can literally swipe your hand through the air above your coffee table to turn off the lights in your home, for example.

Right now, Hayo supports all of the following platforms:

  • Philips HUE
  • Amazon Dash
  • Nest
  • Wemo
  • Sonos
  • Chromecast
  • Harmony
  • Roku

More platforms are coming in the future.

How To Use Hayo

Setting up Hayo is straightforward. Here’s the three step process:

Step 1) Scan Your Room:

Place Hayo in a room where you want to set up a virtual remote control. The device will create a 3D image map of the room.

Step 2) Create Virtual Remote Controls:

Using Hayo’s augmented reality app, create virtual remote controls on top of objects or right in thin air. Then, connect those controls to the smart devices in your home. The augmented reality app will be available for iOS and Android.

Step 3) Start Using The Remote Controls:

Using the app, you’ll see blue-green “spheres” or cylinders appear throughout your home. When movement is detected in those spheres, Hayo will perform a command.

You might see a sphere on your coffee table, for example, or there could be a long green cylinder on the wall beside your front door.

Hayo will begin sensing your movements and gestures, letting you remotely control your home without actually picking up any type of smart device.

The makers of Hayo claim that the device works best when you place it in the room where you spend most of your time at home – like the kitchen or living room.

Some of the possible uses for Hayo include as a remote control for lights, TV, music, security, siren, phone call, text message, or thermostat.

You only need 1 Hayo in each room – not 1 Hayo for each surface or control.

Hayo Features

  • 3D Sensor: Instead of using an invasive video camera or microphone, Hayo just uses a 3D sensor. The company claims this was done to respect your privacy.
  • Advanced Motion Analysis Software: Information is stored in the cloud and updated in the background.
  • Infrared Technology: Works in low light conditions.
  • Automatic Repositioning: Remembers your environment even if you move it.
  • Wi-Fi Enabled: Pairs easily with internet-enabled devices that are already connected to your Wi-Fi network.
  • Home Security System: You can setup Hayo’s sensor to be used as a home security system. So if movement is detected when you’re away from the house, you can use Hayo’s siren.

The makers of Hayo describe how the device works using patented technology, software, and algorithms:

“Hayo sees and interprets space within its field of view thanks to advanced computer vision, which is used to reduce false positives and react only when a person interacts with the virtual remote controls or barriers. Any other motion outside this type of zone does not alter Hayo's behavior.”

That’s slightly different from ordinary 3D spatial technologies, which scan a person’s gestures and motion. Hayo, on the other hand, scans the physical space and objects, then takes action when someone comes into contact with that space or object in a unique way.

Hayo Tech Specs

  • Size: 8.66” tall, 2.75” base
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds (600 grams)
  • Material: ABS plastic and glass
  • Minimum Sensing Distance: 1.31’
  • Maximum Sensing Distance: 19.7’
  • Field of View: 60 degrees vertical and 49.5 degrees horizontal
  • Precision: 1% of measured distance
  • Connection: Wi-Fi
  • Audio: 3.5mm input

Hayo Pricing

Hayo’s final retail price will be $299 USD.

Right now, the device is available to order from Indiegogo at a price of $219 USD + shipping. The estimated shipping date is September 2017.

Who Makes Hayo?

Hayo is made by a tech company named Space-Connect. The Indiegogo page explains they were inspired to start the company after a discussion with the lead designer of Minority Report’s interactive scenes and sequences. That was back in 2010.

After 6 years of research, they’ve created Hayo. Key members of the company include founder & CEO Gisele Belliot and founder & CTO Jose Alonso Ybanez Zepeda.

You can get in touch with the company at [email protected]. The company is based in New York City.

Hayo Conclusion

Hayo is preparing to launch in September 2017. If the device works as advertised, it could be a big player in the smart home space. Stay tuned for more information about Hayo as we get closer to launch!


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