Control & Automation

Neeo Founder Raphael Oberholzer Responds to Mixed ‘Reviews’ of Remote Control

Neeo's Oberholzer takes issue with CE Pro's coverage of software glitches reported by Kickstarter backers who waited 2.5 years for the much-ballyhooed remote control and home-automation system.

Neeo Founder Raphael Oberholzer Responds to Mixed ‘Reviews’ of Remote Control
Raphael Oberholzer, founder of the Kickstarter phenom Neeo, says CE Pro report based on backers' first impressions of the new remote-control system was unfair.

Julie Jacobson · November 29, 2017

Neeo, the great Kickstarter wonder of January 2015, began shipping its remote control and home-automation hub to backers in October 2017. CE Pro gathered up early feedback on the product, and concluded from a large survey of disgruntled users that Neeo hardware was solid, but the software came up short.

Neeo founder Raphael Oberholzer responded to the article with disappointment (not surprisingly), suggesting it was unfair to "review" the product without thoroughly understanding the company's roadmap. He explained early backers would expect some imperfections in the first go-around (as I explained to readers), and suggested Neeo should be lauded (as I did) for responding so quickly to bugs and requests submitted by users.

Indeed, Neeo does seem to be fixing issues at a rapid clip, as I wrote. Wayward IR codes might be fixed or added in a day. Little bugs could be discovered in one day and patched the next. It's full steam ahead for Neeo developers.

I invited Raphael to publish his response on cepro.com, and he accepted after making a few revisions to the original. It is posted below, with minor editing for grammar.

As I told Raphael earlier, ordinarily we would write about new products and companies with their roadmap in mind. But this was not an "ordinary" case.

I wrote: 

This was from the point of view of a critical consumer or dealer who would’ve been curious about the shipping product, given the 2.5-year wait and all the buzz.

Neeo unquestionably has been the darling of every trade show – crowded booths, lots of buzz, two years of excitement and eager anticipation among the install community. With that and the fact that Neeo broke all Kickstarter records at the time, and won prestigious design awards … yes, users’ first impressions of the product, your responses to these impressions, and the support and Website available at shipping -- are absolutely an important story.

Had there been no big money-raise, no great promises to consumers and installers (and the press), no grandiose claims, then first impressions would be a non-story. The world would wait until Neeo gained some traction and improved its software, and then proper reviewers would review it understanding all the caveats and the future direction of the company.

But that’s not what happened here. Neeo made many bold claims pre-shipping, without tempering expectations by ship date. Yes, these were early backers, and this would not be final software, but they were super-excited for the long-anticipated palm recognition, Zigbee, IR learning, IP control, Nest integration, and all the other features so trumpeted by Neeo since Day 1.

RelatedIntegrator Kris Hogg Reviews Neeo Remote: It’s Great if you Understand Limitations

As many backers acknowledged, they did not expect a perfect version right out of the gate -- software can almost always be fixed -- but after 2.5 years of waiting, and a whole lot of audacious promises from the startup, they were expecting more.

They certainly enjoyed a big wow effect when the package finally arrived, with an unboxing experience rivaling the best of the most image-conscious brands. Neeo comes in quite the packaging -- a stark and sturdy black box with a bevy of beautiful things inside. The big reveal is the beautiful aluminum remote, a hallmark of the Neeo brand and its promise. Below, delicately coiled cables and accessories are revealed in adorable pull-out drawers reminiscient of a multilevel music box.

And so that’s the backdrop of the first story, as I explained to Raphael: Would this fabulous, game-changing product live up to the self-generated hype after 2.5 years?!

Posting on Planet Neeo, one vocal user echoed the sentiment of many others when he explained the issue was not with the product and its potential per se, but with the setting of expectations that were way too optimistic:

The frustration, it appears was more about expectations versus reality than anything else. One regular contributor to the forums echoed the sentiment of many other backers:  

Throughout the campaign and the many monthly updates we were given, we were constantly reassured, in some form or another, that this was a "game changer" or that it "just works". A huge number of superlatives were used throughout every post to describe how great everything was. ... Everything was painted as amazing and ground breaking, despite the delays. ... This message was repeated over and over to backers over the 2.5 years and therefore the expectations were set very high by Raphael and the team. Having now had the remote for a week I am sorry but it is not what I was promised. NEEO, you set the expectations at a level that were almost impossible to meet and unfortunately I feel they've been missed by quite a long way.

We very much appalud the passion and the extraordinary accomplishments of the Neeo team so far, and we appreciate that Raphael took the time and the care to share his views on our coverage and his vision for the company. 


Dear Julie, from Raphael

I founded NEEO because I believe - very, very much - that the daily interaction with technology should be much more natural, magical and fun. The current mess of interfaces, standards, all the buttons, the overload of apps, the confusing buying experience and many other cumbersome factors feel so wrong.

Every user deserves better, not just the wealthy. Having previously led one of the largest custom installation firms in Europe and as a former CEDIA board member I have high respect for everyone in the industry trying to create great custom solutions.

In fact, many of the things we bring to the mass market with NEEO right now are inspired by my CEDIA days and experiences. 

In 2014 I felt it’s time for something crazy and I founded NEEO. It could not have been a more ambitious project. With a small team I wanted to create the best remote on this planet and the ideal smarthome platform for everyone, not just wealthy people.

I wanted it to be "programming free" and work with the products people already have installed in their homes. 

There are two main factors from the CI industry that inspired me to build NEEO. First one was the fundamentally important idea of simplified, human-friendly interfaces. The second factor, though, was the lack of magical products in the industry. I don’t want to offend anyone but I’m pretty sure a lot of people in the industry feel the same as me. 

A 'Crazy' Mission

So, we set out to this crazy mission of creating basically everything that we missed in the industry and everything that we thought customers and pros deserve.

Our crazy successful crowdfunding campaign was an early indicator that people understand what NEEO's early value proposition is. This was the beginning of a very intense journey. I started writing a blog to make every supporter part of this journey and give them insights into the world of a startup with all the ups and downs, crazy challenges, patent litigation, capital raises, high-volume manufacturing etc.

"Our crazy successful crowdfunding campaign was an early indicator that people understand what NEEO's early value proposition is."
— Raphael Oberholzer,
NEEO founder

It was awesome to see that our blog also helped other startups to get through challenges and learn from mistakes we had made. The community which started to grow around this is incredible. Actually it’s one of the most important parts of NEEO today. Speaking about that, I feel the idea of building and improving a product together with (and as a part of) a community is a concept that is probably new and a bit of an alien idea for most guys in the CI industry. 

I believe though that this is exactly what we need to do because it brings people together, rather than everyone playing around with their proprietary solutions in their own silos.

We opened up our software developer kit, our APIs, and let many standards and products talk that previously could not have come together in one experience.

If you see what’s currently happening in the community, it is just breathtaking. One guy uses NEEO brains and its CEC capability for two-way control of PlayStation 4 in Crestron systems.

Others have worked on Lutron IP integrations or connected to the openHAB project in no time. Our LiFX integration is another example of the super-valuable contribution by the community. We are open for everyone and I truly mean this. [See list of user-developed drivers.]

We don’t see us as a competitor of anyone in the industry. We want to (and do) work together with the other manufacturers out there to create those magical experiences. I encourage everyone who is interesting in collaborating to reach out to me in a private message on Planet NEEO [user support forum]!

There is a lot of software development involved and the team is currently focused on some mainstream integrations. There are also a lot of CI-specific features on the list. You need to know that I love this industry, I have spent so much time designing systems, I learned a lot from all the awesome CEDIA people and spent so many hours in beautifully wired racks.

I know how it feels to be an installer, I know how it feels to be a system designer and I well know what it means to run a CI business. I want NEEO to become a tool that allows new business models in the industry and removes a lot of today's pains. Whilst we are not ready to announce the CI-specific features (and product) I can assure you you can look forward to it.

All the Wonderful Things about Neeo

So, beside this background info on NEEO, I wanted to reach out and thank for being so active as a journalist in the industry and thanks, at least in general, for the article and featuring Kris Hogg’s review of NEEO.

I was a bit surprised that you would write a “review” without yet having a unit at hand. I wish you would have reached out to us as it seems you have not had access to some of the latest information. So I thought I would provide some additional info here.

I found it a bit odd that the main topic of the article is sort of "software isn’t finished.” 

"You have to understand that launching a hardware startup is insane. Millions of things could have gone wrong and nothing major did."
— Oberholzer

Whilst you are right, we don’t claim the software is “finished” (software actually in general never is), it would be worth it to mention how amazing it is that we come out day one with features and qualities unseen in the industry (I agree you did suggest that in terms of hardware).

You have to understand that launching a hardware startup is insane. Millions of things could have gone wrong and nothing major did. All the cloud services, the several pieces of hardware, the OS, the Planet NEEO [discussion] platform and much more just work.

The fact that we can talk about software features to be added means basically there are hundreds of other things -- that build on the foundation -- working nicely. This is certainly worthy of  mention.

Many players who tried launching somewhat innovative remotes unfortunately failed there. Look, like probably every founder I would at every stage love to have reached the next step already, and I wish there was no software feature ever missing, but we should at the same time never forget how far we already are.

I would love readers also get informed about our recipe engine, concierge service, the new Sonos integration with Instant Favourites (very powerful), PlayStation 4 integration, the over 95% of devices in our database built from scratch with discrete IR control, Z-Wave Plus, the control system API (used for Control4 and Crestron integrations), our voice API, our SDK with dozens of ongoing projects, etc.

OK, some of those topics are mentioned in Kris’s review. If you plan a follow-up review some time I’m happy to provide you with a unit so you can play with it as well.

Addressing the 'Missing' Features

PS: You quoted in the article some of our customers that struggled with “the software." Those who had such issues mainly struggled in their set-ups with “stupid devices” (toggle-only IR devices). Whilst people in the industry like our current handling (thanks for having written about this), some affected end users were unhappy with it as we made them go through some additional screens.

It’s a minority of users currently having a stupid device in their system. It’s clear, though, if you go to our support platform you see many of those cases. That’s why the platform is so important. It is a real community and we listen and talk to everyone.

This heavily discussed "stupid device” feature is already announced to be improved with two "device smartener” options, including true status via CEC, which is going to be something no other remote in the market provides.

Also, we have already addressed the other “missing” features and devices mentioned in the reviews. Whilst I cannot make an official announcement yet, full two-way Amazon FireTV support as an example is coming up shortly. Same for the Nest thermostat that is coming back. We had to remove it, officially for “maintenance,” but basically it’s being completely rewritten for quality reasons, using our SDK.

We want to use the same tools that are used by the community also internally. This helps us improve that environment at the same time.

Again. Thank you for your article. I personally felt it was too much focused on things that are "not yet there."

In my opinion the whole amazing product and the innovation of it came up a bit short here. The CEDIA industry needs that kind of innovation in order to remain relevant with most large consumer electronic companies slowly joining the smart home game!

Thanks for being part of our journey.


Visit Neeo at CES 2018 at Eureka Park (startup zone), Sands Expo, Level 1, Booth 51659

Register for the Ultimate CES 2018 Preview Webinar


  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Automation · Universal Remotes · Whole House Control · News · Products · Neeo · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by SKoolD on December 1, 2017

History repeats itself.  I’m often amazed at how unrealistic many people in this industry view the control space.  Making a slick, advanced, auto-discovery path to controlling everyone else’s stuff is undoubtedly the hardest endeavor any company can take on in this space.  Making your own product work within its own ecosystem is a breeze compared to this task.  I applaud NEEO for striving to tackle this.  BUT, pressure from investors and the public urge manufacturers to push product before it’s “ready.” In this ever-evolving world of consumer/IoT technology with clouds, APIs, NDAs on top of traditional IR and 232 interfaces, the state of readiness is a dodgy concept that can make or break a prospective product like this.  Savant learned the hard way but has seemingly rebounded by being able to fall back on its flagship platform.  Perhaps there’s a reason only the big control companies have been able to sustain the idea of controlling other people’s stuff.  You can’t assume to solve everything these companies have developed over decades in the short span of a couple years without burning through some serious cash.  Much like with the Savant remote, expectations are high and the public is antsy.  Hopefully it’s not too late for NEEO.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on November 30, 2017

That’s great news, Markw. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Markw on November 30, 2017

I’m a very active crowdfunding backer and investor. Over 50 projects backed. NEEO is the most useful and ready product that I have supported on any of the platforms. The entire family is using it daily. My second favourite is Canary. There will always be haters and lovers. The best brand cause disscussions.

Posted by JamesIceland on November 30, 2017

Julie you are correct and of course we are all hoping that NEEO will become a success. Backers waited 2.5 years for the device after all. The backers are a passionate bunch and that is why people are posting up their experiences. As an active backer I thought that it would be good to finally give my first impressions. I was as constructive as I could be in my feedback pointing out the pros and cons that I had experienced. As can be seen in the response given to your user impressions article, Raphael elects to take action himself to try and rectify things. For me it started by singling out my experience as being more of an outlier and ignoring the main issue I had which was that the reality vs expectations were so great. I then received an email which surprised me greatly with its content. I even shared it with some close friends and family to ensure I was not misinterpreting things. It simply wasn’t professional and his subsequent follow ups were even worse. You could argue that at least he took the time to respond personally to me and yes it’s true we had personal contact during the 2.5 years which I had appreciated. But this was something else and made for very uncomfortable reading. I wish he had just focused on the issues highlighted and perhaps given some indication of a time frame for the next software updates. That’s all that I and perhaps others are wanting. I will continue to contribute to Planet NEEO with my feedback in the hope it help them get everything sorted but I have sadly lost a lot of the respect I had for Raphael as a result of his emails this week.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on November 30, 2017

Thank you both for your comments. There had been an error in the story. The section block-quoted came from a comment on Planet Neeo. I added that correction (previously it looked like it was a quote from me).

I know Neeo has been very hard at work, and harder still now that people have the product in their hands and are asking for fixes at a furious pace. It looks like there has been some quick turn-around on many of the issues.

It is very difficult for start-ups who have sunk their money and souls into a project to stomach negativity about their first baby. Crushing, actually. It was with a very heavy heart that I exposed negative criticism about such a highly passionate group. But I thought the lesson was a VERY IMPORTANT one for all of us.

Be careful about setting high expectations—higher and higher and higher over 2.5 years of development. All too often, entrepreneurs feel the need to inflate promises with each delay in order to appease anxious backers.

By so doing, they raise expectations while losing focus on the fundamentals—a toxic combination.

The founder of Dasmon tells me the indiegogo backers on an earlier project unwittingly killed the project by lambasting his company for the delays. The principals relented, and shipped the product before they knew it was ready. Expectant backers balked at the early software glitches and the company sank pretty quickly after that.

https://www.cepro.com/article/damson_s_series_first_dolby_atmos_wireless_surround_system_multiroom_audio/news

It’s a delicate balance, I know. Big companies like Apple can afford software glitches on new releases because they have a rabid fan base and deep pockets. Start-ups don’t have that luxury. The first product needs to nail the fundamentals, as the company rolls out flourishes after that ... all while keeping user expectations in check along the way.

We are ALL ROOTING FOR NEEO and wishing them the greatest of success!

Posted by JamesIceland on November 30, 2017

Sorry, correction to the above:

“I will not share the reasons why he asked me to do this however.”

Posted by JamesIceland on November 30, 2017

I have had a very different experience to Pesche, especially in dealing with Raphael. Since posting my first impressions on Planet NEEO last week he has written me a 2,700 word email whilst also taking time to write this 1,500 word response on CEPro. His response to any perceived “negativity” is to immediately go after whoever wrote it. He labelled the original write up on CEPro as “terrible” in his email to me and stated he had issues with Julie. He claimed that my write up was influenced by it (it wasn’t).

When I subsequently explained I was uncomfortable with his emails, he has labelled me as “negative”, “super negative” and said that “after having read about your expectation I doubt - even when we fix stuff you will be fully happy.” This was in response to me saying I was particularly uncomfortable being asked to keep it confidential that he had asked me to only post positively on Planet NEEO and to take future comments I had to him personally. I will not sure the reasons why he asked me to do this however. He has also shut down another post I made asking for time frames for the updates stating that they will not give any ETA’s on them. His last email was a rambling mess talking about “wars” and “funerals”.

In his response above and in his emails to me he has not mentioned anything about the high expectations he set and the disappointment some have felt with their experience. Instead the above response contains the same mix of buzz words we have been hearing for 2.5 years. He even says it “just works” again when it doesn’t for a number of people, me included. If I sound like I’m sick of it it’s because I am. I was one of NEEO’s most ardent supporters and was highly active in the community. His behaviour following my constructive and positively received first impressions write up is nothing short of unprofessional.

I would prefer that he took the time to address the genuine issues that people are continuing to post about (check Planet NEEO and Kickstarter) and respectfully leave the job of handling customer service issues, responses to reviews he doesn’t like and any other communications to a professional PR individual.

In the mean time my remote remains unused on a daily basis waiting for the promised updates that “I will like” but that have no ETA’s.

Posted by Pesche on November 30, 2017

I really like how the NEEO founder is responding to this. He stays cool and spot on with absolutely everything he is saying. The custom installation industry truly needs such innovative products. I have received my NEEO about a month ago. It’s a beautiful product. Could be from Apple in terms of quality and presentation. Best unboxing experience ever. I’m convinced NEEO will become a big name. The product is working perfectly in my home theatre. The software which is a big discussion here actually impressed me the most. I was able to add all my devices with ease and find remarkable what you can do with recipe logic. I’m comparing to the failed Savant remote, Crestron and RTI here. The CEPro review certainly doesn’t do justice to this incredible product. On the other hand I see they are praising a new Crestron remote that has not even started shipping. Crestron does not have a great track record in terms of quality remotes. In my experiece the only brand out there that provided really reliable remotes was RTI. But those are clunky and expensive plastic devices. I’m writing this here because I’m a true fan of the NEEO product but also of their transparent and fast communication and support. I understand why some traditional custom installation reacts dealers react with fear. They are right. Things change.

Posted by Pesche on November 30, 2017

I really like how the NEEO founder is responding to this. He stays cool and spot on with absolutely everything he is saying. The custom installation industry truly needs such innovative products. I have received my NEEO about a month ago. It’s a beautiful product. Could be from Apple in terms of quality and presentation. Best unboxing experience ever. I’m convinced NEEO will become a big name. The product is working perfectly in my home theatre. The software which is a big discussion here actually impressed me the most. I was able to add all my devices with ease and find remarkable what you can do with recipe logic. I’m comparing to the failed Savant remote, Crestron and RTI here. The CEPro review certainly doesn’t do justice to this incredible product. On the other hand I see they are praising a new Crestron remote that has not even started shipping. Crestron does not have a great track record in terms of quality remotes. In my experiece the only brand out there that provided really reliable remotes was RTI. But those are clunky and expensive plastic devices. I’m writing this here because I’m a true fan of the NEEO product but also of their transparent and fast communication and support. I understand why some traditional custom installation reacts dealers react with fear. They are right. Things change.

Posted by JamesIceland on November 30, 2017

I have had a very different experience to Pesche, especially in dealing with Raphael. Since posting my first impressions on Planet NEEO last week he has written me a 2,700 word email whilst also taking time to write this 1,500 word response on CEPro. His response to any perceived “negativity” is to immediately go after whoever wrote it. He labelled the original write up on CEPro as “terrible” in his email to me and stated he had issues with Julie. He claimed that my write up was influenced by it (it wasn’t).

When I subsequently explained I was uncomfortable with his emails, he has labelled me as “negative”, “super negative” and said that “after having read about your expectation I doubt - even when we fix stuff you will be fully happy.” This was in response to me saying I was particularly uncomfortable being asked to keep it confidential that he had asked me to only post positively on Planet NEEO and to take future comments I had to him personally. I will not sure the reasons why he asked me to do this however. He has also shut down another post I made asking for time frames for the updates stating that they will not give any ETA’s on them. His last email was a rambling mess talking about “wars” and “funerals”.

In his response above and in his emails to me he has not mentioned anything about the high expectations he set and the disappointment some have felt with their experience. Instead the above response contains the same mix of buzz words we have been hearing for 2.5 years. He even says it “just works” again when it doesn’t for a number of people, me included. If I sound like I’m sick of it it’s because I am. I was one of NEEO’s most ardent supporters and was highly active in the community. His behaviour following my constructive and positively received first impressions write up is nothing short of unprofessional.

I would prefer that he took the time to address the genuine issues that people are continuing to post about (check Planet NEEO and Kickstarter) and respectfully leave the job of handling customer service issues, responses to reviews he doesn’t like and any other communications to a professional PR individual.

In the mean time my remote remains unused on a daily basis waiting for the promised updates that “I will like” but that have no ETA’s.

Posted by JamesIceland on November 30, 2017

Sorry, correction to the above:

“I will not share the reasons why he asked me to do this however.”

Posted by Julie Jacobson on November 30, 2017

Thank you both for your comments. There had been an error in the story. The section block-quoted came from a comment on Planet Neeo. I added that correction (previously it looked like it was a quote from me).

I know Neeo has been very hard at work, and harder still now that people have the product in their hands and are asking for fixes at a furious pace. It looks like there has been some quick turn-around on many of the issues.

It is very difficult for start-ups who have sunk their money and souls into a project to stomach negativity about their first baby. Crushing, actually. It was with a very heavy heart that I exposed negative criticism about such a highly passionate group. But I thought the lesson was a VERY IMPORTANT one for all of us.

Be careful about setting high expectations—higher and higher and higher over 2.5 years of development. All too often, entrepreneurs feel the need to inflate promises with each delay in order to appease anxious backers.

By so doing, they raise expectations while losing focus on the fundamentals—a toxic combination.

The founder of Dasmon tells me the indiegogo backers on an earlier project unwittingly killed the project by lambasting his company for the delays. The principals relented, and shipped the product before they knew it was ready. Expectant backers balked at the early software glitches and the company sank pretty quickly after that.

https://www.cepro.com/article/damson_s_series_first_dolby_atmos_wireless_surround_system_multiroom_audio/news

It’s a delicate balance, I know. Big companies like Apple can afford software glitches on new releases because they have a rabid fan base and deep pockets. Start-ups don’t have that luxury. The first product needs to nail the fundamentals, as the company rolls out flourishes after that ... all while keeping user expectations in check along the way.

We are ALL ROOTING FOR NEEO and wishing them the greatest of success!

Posted by JamesIceland on November 30, 2017

Julie you are correct and of course we are all hoping that NEEO will become a success. Backers waited 2.5 years for the device after all. The backers are a passionate bunch and that is why people are posting up their experiences. As an active backer I thought that it would be good to finally give my first impressions. I was as constructive as I could be in my feedback pointing out the pros and cons that I had experienced. As can be seen in the response given to your user impressions article, Raphael elects to take action himself to try and rectify things. For me it started by singling out my experience as being more of an outlier and ignoring the main issue I had which was that the reality vs expectations were so great. I then received an email which surprised me greatly with its content. I even shared it with some close friends and family to ensure I was not misinterpreting things. It simply wasn’t professional and his subsequent follow ups were even worse. You could argue that at least he took the time to respond personally to me and yes it’s true we had personal contact during the 2.5 years which I had appreciated. But this was something else and made for very uncomfortable reading. I wish he had just focused on the issues highlighted and perhaps given some indication of a time frame for the next software updates. That’s all that I and perhaps others are wanting. I will continue to contribute to Planet NEEO with my feedback in the hope it help them get everything sorted but I have sadly lost a lot of the respect I had for Raphael as a result of his emails this week.

Posted by Markw on November 30, 2017

I’m a very active crowdfunding backer and investor. Over 50 projects backed. NEEO is the most useful and ready product that I have supported on any of the platforms. The entire family is using it daily. My second favourite is Canary. There will always be haters and lovers. The best brand cause disscussions.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on November 30, 2017

That’s great news, Markw. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by SKoolD on December 1, 2017

History repeats itself.  I’m often amazed at how unrealistic many people in this industry view the control space.  Making a slick, advanced, auto-discovery path to controlling everyone else’s stuff is undoubtedly the hardest endeavor any company can take on in this space.  Making your own product work within its own ecosystem is a breeze compared to this task.  I applaud NEEO for striving to tackle this.  BUT, pressure from investors and the public urge manufacturers to push product before it’s “ready.” In this ever-evolving world of consumer/IoT technology with clouds, APIs, NDAs on top of traditional IR and 232 interfaces, the state of readiness is a dodgy concept that can make or break a prospective product like this.  Savant learned the hard way but has seemingly rebounded by being able to fall back on its flagship platform.  Perhaps there’s a reason only the big control companies have been able to sustain the idea of controlling other people’s stuff.  You can’t assume to solve everything these companies have developed over decades in the short span of a couple years without burning through some serious cash.  Much like with the Savant remote, expectations are high and the public is antsy.  Hopefully it’s not too late for NEEO.