By Chris Scott Barr
HTPCs have been around for a while now, but the way we control them hasn’t changed much. You’ll generally either use a standard remote, or some sort of in-air mouse and a keyboard. Neither of these is the ideal solution. GlideTV seems to think that they’ve built a device that will be exactly what HTPC users need.
The GlideTV Navigator is handheld device that is supposed to combine “the functionality of a keyboard, mouse and AV remote.” I don’t know that I’d agree with the keyboard part, but it is more or less a combination mouse/remote. You can however download an on-screen keyboard for input. The device works with Windows, OSX, PS3 and any other device that accepts mouse and keyboard HID devices. Some of the other noteable features include:
- Clickable touchpad mapped to your TV screen — precise cursor control, one-thumb scrolling, single and double-click selection.
- Backlit AV buttons to control volume and playback.
- Directional buttons for easy two-axis navigation.
- Dedicated Esc, Enter, Back, and Function keys to control applications.
- On-screen keyboard — requires download, Windows only.
- Integrated search menu with links to Google, Amazon Video on Demand, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and more — requires download, Windows only.
- Rechargeable battery.
Provided you aren’t doing much typing, this device really looks like it could be a useful alternative to a standard remote or mouse. $150 is a bit pricey, but the stylish little control unit might be worth it, provided it’s as easy to use as they boast.