GlideTV’s premiere product has a somewhat weird design; it features a trackpad and few front buttons, and its size is compact, making it small enough to rest in the user’s palm conveniently. According to its maker, the Navigator combines crucial mouse functions with practical remote functions; the minimalistic design was made to avoid taking too much space. However, some users might find it too small – thus prone to frequent disappearing under the couch.
The Navigator features connectivity with most devices through a wireless USB dongle that connects to the user’s PC. The innovative interface should replace the traditional keyboard and mouse, offering control over home-theater devices through the PC. While the mouse-replacement is obvious (the touchpad), text-input is replaced by a downloadable onscreen keyboard application. Another interesting feature is the integrated search menu, with links to Google, Amazon Video on Demand, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. Thanks to these, users could enlarge their sources of entertainment.
"Up to now, consumers who wanted to connect a computer to the TV to take advantage of digital content had to bring office equipment to their living room, making the experience bulky and cumbersome," said Chris Painter, president and founder. "With the Navigator, GlideTV brings simplicity to accessing internet-based entertainment and ushers in a new era for computing in the living room."
The systems supported are Windows PC, Apple Mac, Sony PlayStation 3, or any set-top box that supports standard mouse and keyboard HID devices. However, regular devices that aren’t controlled in the HTPC fashion are not supported. This might hinder some potential buyers who have older equipment such as AV receivers, CRT televisions, and standard DVD players.
The product is provided with a single rechargeable battery (users could buy spare ones, if needed) and it has one-year warranty. It is available for purchase with an MSRP of $149.
TFOT has also covered a product that offers similar features, the WD TV Live HD Media Player, sold by Western Digital at $150. Other related TFOT stories include one on the TV Point Anywhere, a universal remote control that provides better control over media-playing devices, the Nero LiquidTV, a software program that offers TiVo-like capabilities on a PC, and the AT&T HomeManager, a portable tablet which offers touch-screen interface, internet access, and a landline phone.
For more information about the GlideTV Navigator, see its manufacturer’s website.