27 Nov 2007
Taking Charge(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2007)
|Brilliant Concepts Int'l Ltd offers an interesting range of 8-in-1 universal remote controls featuring unusual shapes and designs with brightly-coloured buttons|
The world's consumers can't get enough of the handy little devices that make life with electronic products so much easier and more efficient
Just about any electrical appliance can now be activated or deactivated with the touch of a button, which is a convenience for most and a godsend for others such as the elderly and infirm.
However, all remote controls are not created equal according to Ultra Electronic Co Manager Alex Khan, who says buyers should look for quality, reliability and design.
"When people buy remote controls, they want a product that can really control the devices specified, and with all the keys working," Mr Khan maintains.
He says there are products in the market that can be sourced cheaply, but the user finds some of the keys are dummies when they go to a menu function.
"Our components are sourced from Korea and Taiwan and are built to last," Mr Khan claims. "Our products are reliable, durable and designed by our own team here in Hong Kong."
He recommends his company's Universal Remote Control (UET-616) as the one-stop device for operating all AV stations, from TVs to DVDs and satellite or cable receiver systems.
"This device lets the user switch to any new component of his home theatre with one key," Mr Khan explains. "It's also handy if the user has two TVs and wants to operate each independently."
Mr Khan says Ultra Electronic customises designs to suit the demands of the client. "Younger people tend to go for something that's stylish and has more functions, whereas older folk might like larger buttons and simplicity of operation," he notes.
He recommends the Touch Screen Universal Remote Control (UET-800) for the younger market, with features that include customising the key layout functions to suit the user's own preference.
Ultra Electronic also has an interesting new product in the R&D phase. "At present all RCs are pre-coded, but we're developing a product that will allow the user to update codes from our website on a regular basis, and also delete old or useless codes," Mr Khan claims.
The older audience is also the focus of Ewig Mfg Co Ltd, which had the elderly in mind when it designed its Touch Panel Jumbo Remote (RTN361).
The first of its kind, according to Marketing Manager Lorraine Wong, the Jumbo is a universal remote control with an extra large and simply designed keypad for easier reading and operation. "A major feature is the light key which provides an illuminated background so that the individual keys can be read more easily," she says.
Ewig has also added a service key that causes the remote to beep and the LED indicator to flash for five seconds when pressed, which acts as an easy alert system that the user may need help. "This model is proving popular in the US and Europe," Ms Wong observes.
Taking a different approach is Ansen Electronics Co, whose focus is on remote-control products for household appliances. "They can be applied to a number of options, from TVs to coffee machines, but we find that controlling household lighting is the most popular use," says Senior Business Development Manager Karen Au.
A popular set of remote controls includes the RF On/Off Receiver with Timer (model 9133), the RF Hand-Held Remote Control and RF Key Ring Remote Control.
"This set sells well, particularly with the RF Key Ring Remote Control, because users can take it with them," Ms Au reveals, noting that it's easier to walk straight into a house with the lights on.
The RF On/Off Receiver with Timer is also popular as a standalone item thanks to its dual function, which allows it to act as both a remote control and a timer that switches appliances on and off automatically. "Our devices have a range of 30-75 metres," Ms Au adds.
Similarly concerned with household chores, Capital Prospect Ltd has researched remote control products in the US to develop its Garage Door Remote Control (Visor) (model G6VR).
This handy device has a cover designed to clip on to the sunvisor of the car, so it is protected from the sun and always handy when needed. "It's part of our new garage door series that is aimed at the American market, but is suitable for other countries as well," says Sales and Marketing Executive Yvonne Lam.
She explains that American homes normally have a wall button inside the garage that controls the motor which opens and closes the garage door. "These products usually come with a remote control, but we are promoting our products as items that can be used alongside these remotes," Ms Lam says. "As many as 15 of our remotes can pair up with an existing remote control system."
She believes the G6VR's advantages are obvious for homes with more than one car and businesses using a number of vehicles, and the company's research has shown great interest in the new product. "Mini key chain remote models are also available," Ms Lam adds, noting that all Capital Prospect's products have a 60-metre range.
Whatever the use, there's clearly a remote control unit available from Hong Kong manufacturers that lets consumers all around the world take charge of their electronic devices.
TEXT BY JOHN CHURCH
|Ansen Electronics Co
Rms 73-78, 2/F
Sino Ind Plaza
9 Kai Cheung Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Year Established: 1989
|Brilliant Concepts Int'l Ltd
2 On Yiu St
Sha Tin, New Territories
|Year Established: 1994
Major Product Categories: universal remote controls, transmitters, receivers & electronic devices
Brands & Certificates: BC Tech; ISO 9001
Minimum Order: 3,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: 200,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 30-45 days
Factory Size & Location: 7,000 square metres; Foshan
|Capital Prospect Ltd
Rm 1303, Blk B
Veristrong Ind Bldg
Fo Tan, New Territories
|Year Established: 1989
Major Product Categories: remote controls, wireless alarms, home automation
Brands & Certificates: Skylink; ISO 9001
Minimum Order: 1,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: 50,000 pieces G6 series
Delivery Time: 60 days
Factory Size & Location: 60,000 square feet
|Ewig Mfg Co Ltd
Houtex Ind Bldg
16 Hung To Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
|Year Established: 1981
Major Product Categories: RF weather stations, universal remote controls, LCD digital timers, desktop LCD alarm clocks, in/out thermometers, LCD digital kitchen cooking thermometers, digital picture frames
Brands & Certificates: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 13488, EN 46002, UL approved
Minimum Order: 1,000 pieces per model
Monthly Production Capacity: 20,000 pieces per model
Delivery Time: 45 days
Factory Size & Location: 66,000 square metres; Dongguan
|Ultra Electronic Co
Rm 36, 9/F
Man Fai Bldg
33-40 Man Ying St
|Year Established: 1995
Major Product Categories: universal remote controls
Brands & Certificates: UET
Minimum Order: 2,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: 400,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 3-4 weeks
Factory Size & Location: 10,000 square metres