Universal Electronics Introduces New Product and Cloud Service to Unify Entertainment Control and Home Automation Experiences

January 2, 2019

Home Digital Assistant Platform, Nevo® Butler, to enable brands to quickly offer a range of new services

Santa Ana, CA Universal Electronics Inc., (UEI) (NASDAQ: UEIC), the worldwide leader in universal control and sensing technologies for the smart home, today announced that it will be introducing a new platform for the Connected Home at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV, which kicks off on January 8, 2019.

Nevo® Butler is an end-to-end voice-enabled smart home hub with a built-in white label digital assistant that promises to unify the entertainment control and home automation experiences, enabling interoperability across fragmented ecosystems. Built-in entertainment control capabilities and smart home hub features powered by QuickSet® Cloud make this device a versatile assistant for the home, capable of addressing a wide range of the current installed base of devices in consumers’ homes, addressing a range of use cases and innovative new services in the smart home. 

  • Remain in control of the consumer experience through a branded digital assistant, while offering compatibility with third party digital assistants and expanding compatibility of these platforms with the current installed base of entertainment devices.
  • As a far-field voice assistant, this platform enables service providers to quickly and efficiently bring voice assistant capabilities for content discovery and control to their existing Pay-TV households without the need to upgrade current equipment, and unlike other solutions, not limited to connected entertainment devices.
  • As a managed, white label smart home hub with a built-in digital assistant, allows home smart home brands to efficiently and securely manage their installed base of devices, and address the expanding consumer demand for cross-brand interoperability with existing digital assistants and smart home hubs through the QuickSet Interoperability as a Service program. 
  • In residential and hospitality segments, it opens the door to offering converged services across entertainment, home safety and security, energy management, and more.
  • Access to a growing ecosystem of devices through “Works With QuickSet” program, and channel specific Kits offered to accelerate market introduction.
  • New service and monetization opportunities through Partner Service Marketplace initially previewing services in connectivity, analytics, cybersecurity and digital well-being.   

Voice assistants powered by artificial intelligence are playing a key role in improving access to smart living products and services, and this is only expected to expand in size and scope. Digital assistants that connect consumers to important services such as safety and security, or bring convenience through better interaction with entertainment devices will play a key role in delivering the experiences promised by a brand. NevoButler empowers brands to deliver these experiences quickly, efficiently and directly to consumers.

A new industry research report from international firm Parks Associates shows nearly 75% of the consumers planning to buy a smart home device consider it important for their purchase to work with other products in their home.  This demand for interoperability is stronger than brand loyalty, as less than 60% of smart home shoppers consider it important that their future purchases be the same brand as their current products.  “As smart home devices proliferate, interoperability is the key to creating true smart home systems.  Consumer adoption of smart home products is driving expectations that devices work together seamlessly.  Consumers are buying outside of a single brand’s ecosystem, so they are demanding product interoperability,” said Brad Russell, Research Director, Connected Home, Parks Associates.

As a managed smart home hub with far field voice assistant capabilities, Nevo Butler is designed with security in mind, where the root of trust is placed in hardware and managed from manufacturing throughout the lifecycle of the platform as a service. Designed with UE878 multiprotocol chip built-in and pre-integrated with QuickSet Cloud to offer the most comprehensive range of universal device control for entertainment and smart home devices across IP, Zigbee, Zigbee rf4ce, Bluetooth Smart, and Infrared.  

Nevo Butler also comes pre-integrated with nevo.ai digital assistant offered as a white label service to deliver branded and customized experiences, and is capable of supporting other voice assistants in the platform to address the growing consumer demand for choice and access to domain specific assistants and services.

Nevo Butler supports a simple, cloud-based, natural language interface to enable conversational device interactions, but also adds offline pre-defined voice commands to ensure a reliable interface to smart home services, even when the Internet is down.

Enterprise integration services ensure the Nevo Butler platform can be seamlessly integrated into the existing service provider subscriber management systems, while a growing list of partner services in the marketplace allow new avenues for monetization and managed complementary services. 

In addition to its voice-enabled entertainment device and control, Nevo Butler is offered in channel-specific kits bundled with a range of certified devices that include safety and security sensors, energy management controllers, and IoT lighting products.

“With Nevo Butler, we are delivering on the promise of unifying experiences across devices in the home – the entertainment device where consumers spend nearly 5 hours a day – and other smart home devices and services” says Arsham Hatambeiki, SVP of Product and Technology for Universal Electronics Inc.  “This solution puts brands back at the forefront of the consumer experience, enabling consumers to interact with products and services without going through a single, global service and brings with it the confidence of device compatibility and interoperability.”

Universal Electronics will host product demonstrations for all their latest technologies and design concepts, and their most recent product unveiling, Nevo® Butler and related platform kits at booth #42325 in the Sands Expo at CES 2019 in Las Vegas from January 8-11.  Nikki Ahmadi, Director of Cloud and Software Products; and Patrick Serrato, Director of Connected Home solutions will be available to discuss how Nevo Butler and curated kits and services can be used to introduce or expand offerings in a range of channels. 

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About Universal Electronics

Universal Electronics Inc. (NASDAQ:UEIC) is the worldwide leader in universal control and sensing technologies for the smart home. Its broad portfolio of patents includes QuickSet® Cloud service that utilizes the world’s most complete knowledge graph of devices to detect and interact with thousands of entertainment and smart home devices. The company designs, develops, and manufactures innovative products that are used by the world’s leading brands in the audio, video, subscription broadcasting, connected home, home energy management, and mobile device markets. UEI’s many first-to-market innovations have helped transform the home entertainment control, home security, and home energy management and sensing industries.  More information is available at www.uei.com and quicksetcloud.com

Nevo and QuickSet are trademarks of Universal Electronics Inc.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe-Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Words and expressions reflecting something other than historical fact are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the timely development, delivery and market acceptance of UEI’s Nevo Butler product and associated service offerings, and other technologies identified in this release; the continued penetration and growth of the digital assistant products and consumer technologies identified in this release; and other factors described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The actual results that the Company achieves may differ materially from any forward-looking statement due to such risks and uncertainties.  The Company undertakes no obligations to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.

UEI Media Contact: Benny Canady
Universal Electronics Inc.
[email protected]
714-918-9500