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Vodafone Portugal to launch Nevo Butler smart home hub 

Vodafone Portugal is to launch the Nevo Butler entertainment and smart home from Universal Electronics (UEI) to residential TV and broadband customers.

Nevo Butler is the newest smart device from Universal Electronics. It has been described as a highly-secure, voice-enabled product, which combines features from entertainment and smart home devices. The Butler features far-field voice control and adaptability with various operating systems. Users can connect multiple devices with the hub using hands-free voice commands. The product works with TVs, lighting, security systems and audio accessories.

Vodafone notably already has a voice assistant service. It is noted that Nevo Butler will expand this feature to allow hands-free commands to operate Vodafone Portugal’s entertainment service. The product will become fully integrated into Vodafone Portugal’s system, guaranteeing a unilateral user experience. The Butler can be used to connect devices in the home, as well as navigate entertainment systems, like searching Vodafone’s libraries.

Vodafone Portugal and UEI continue their relationship

In a public statement, Vodafone Portugal’s content and service specialist Luis Cardoso said “Vodafone Portugal and UEI have been working collaboratively for several years and we share a strong commitment to innovation and continuously improving the user experience”.

He went on to note that “We are excited to bring this advanced technology to our customers, allowing them to easily set up and control our entertainment service with their voice using our customised wake word. Customers can relax on the couch and say ‘hello, TOBi, turn on the football game’ and the TV will turn on and take them right to the content they want to watch”.

“UEI is thrilled that Vodafone is the first company to offer Nevo Butler to its customers”, UEI Chairman and CEO Paul Arling said in a concurring statement. “As one of our flagship products, Nevo Butler encompasses many of the leading discovery and control capabilities of our QuickSet® platform and represents another example of our ongoing investment in technology for the future”.

Universal Electronics identifies itself as being at the forefront of developing entertainment and smart home control technologies since the 1990s. It was the first company to unveil voice search and control for entertainment platforms. UEI also made advancements with automated setup and universal control of connected devices, thanks to its QuickSet-enabled items. 

The Nevo Butler first debuted over three years ago, unveiled by UEI in January 2019 (Photo: Nevo Butler)

UEI continues its Nevo Butler rollout

The Nevo Butler first debuted over three years ago, unveiled by UEI in January 2019. The product made headlines for its compatibility with third party digital assistants, as well as its far-field voice assistant feature that allowed service providers to introduce features to pay-TV households.

Notably, the product allows smart home brands to manage their already-installed devices. Features such as this make partnerships with Vodafone all the more logical, and it would not be surprising to see similar partnerships in the future. 

An important subject in smart home devices is security, which was a standout selling point for the Butler at its unveiling. The device comes with a built-in UE878 multi-protocol chip, as well as a pre-installed QuickSet Cloud which allows you to control devices across IP, ZigBee, Bluetooth or even Infrared. 

“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,” said Arsham Hatambeiki, SVP of Product and Technology for Universal Electronics Inc, at a presentation of the device. “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”.

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