"Universal" IR/Wifi Remote?

I’m currently using a Harmony Hub, but it is still a lot of hassle and doesn’t exactly meet my needs. The OpenMQTTGateway looks promising, and I may take a look at next.

However, I would really love to find a totally customizable physical handheld remote. (not a phone app). Ideally any button could be mapped to either an IR command or MQTT message. Then I could control any device or send any message to Home Assistant.

As far as I know, no stand-alone device like that exists. I was thinking of trying to build something like that with the new ESP32-S2. Might be able to get a low enough power draw to make it feasible.

Any thoughts from the group here? Are there others looking for the same thing? Thanks!

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I have a harmony hub.

Have you looked at emulated Roku for a way of using the harmony remote to perform wifi (or any homeassistant) commands?

I have not used it extensively as my use case is predominantly IR.

Hi Phil, thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I am using emulate Roku (I should have mentioned that). I did get it working, but that’s been one of the pain points. The initial setup was difficult trying to get UPnP discovery to work and mapping buttons in the Logitech app is slow. Then in HA you need to do another mapping and it’s not straightforward. The other thing I don’t care for on the Harmony remote (at least my version) is that you always need to start an “activity” before any of the other buttons work.

So I can get it to work. Just would be cool if there was a more “hacker friendly” remote out there, and wondering if I’m alone in that sentiment :question:


I have some off the shelves ESP32 IR hubs that I haven’t tested yet, they are based on ESP32, is it what you are looking for?

Kinda. I think I’m going to try OpenMQTTGateway with a D1mini or an M5stick that I have around. Then use a standard IR remote and program the gateway to respond to buttons from that.

My original thought was to not require a gateway and just have it all built into the handheld device.

Maybe if I turn the question around… What do you think the ideal remote control device would be capable of? Mainly in the context of “sitting on the couch, multi-purpose remote”… for using IR for TV, entertainment center and lights, fan, thermostat, etc with Home Assistant.

An old tablet with Home assistant :wink:
Or an old IR remote control pointed to a gateway.
Or an RF multibutton remote would do the trick also without the line of sight issue.

Regarding the M5StickC, it does not have a very good range for IR emitting for info (around 1 meter)

Found this tread as I’m searching for the same. What did you eventually land on?

I feel like these RF or BT remotes or a Wiimote along with the “keyboard remote” integration would provide an ideal UX for my use case but are limited in range from the HA server.

Not sure, if my solution is what youre looking for:
Since my room in a shared apartment is kinda small, i have one IR receiver mounted onto my AV receiver/amplifier. This is connected to a wemos d1 mini running esphome. Also connected is an IR diode to control my amp, since its not a network capable one. On the esphome firmware, i defined some services to send commands to the amp like turn on, turn off, select source, vol up and vol down. The IR receiver part is listening for IR commands from the samsung protocol. When one command is registered, the esp fires an event in home assistant with the command as value. In node-red im listening for this event and split this “master-event” into events for every key by comparing the value of the master-event with the value of the specific key. Then i can react to any key-event on its own. Oh, for debouncing im using a delay-node set to limit one message every .5 seconds (or less) and drop messages that come in this time range before firing the correct key event.
The remote im using is an “One-for-all essence v1” i got from amazon, set to samsung as device. Its a decent build quality but needs 4 aaa batteries instead of 2. But it also has a pin header, ice read on the website that you can send the remote to them and let them upgrade the code database, maybe this can be used to hack it, maybe sending different keycodes then intended or send multiple keycodes at once to make use of keys not specified in one protocol.
With this setup i can basically assign any key on my remote to every HA service call or even more what i want/need. Currently, through the old xbox one custom component im controlling my xbox (including “pressing” controller buttons, since im using it as cheap media center), my amp (directly volume) and some input_booleans to trigger switchable scenes like turning off all lights and switching the amp input and back on.

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