I was tired of going to bed and forgetting to turn off the air conditioner or the living room TV, so I started looking for a solution.
A friend recommended the Logitech Harmony Hub, after doing some research about it and looking some videos I thought "This is it!!" but the excitement went right away after looking at the price! For 300 I would gladly get of bed and do it myself!
So my quest to find a budget solution started, I checked several IR devices, universal remotes, etc. But the one that caught my eye was the Orvibo Magic Cube, costing only 25 dollars it fitted right on my budget the only thing I was worried about was the mixed opinions there were on the Amazon reviews, some people loved it and others hated it so I decided I would give it a shot.
This little guy is small only 53x53x54mm so it fits pretty much any where, it has a 360o IR signaling mirror cone inside so the signial will get where ever you want it to be.
And the most important part it's the compatibility with Alexa, each remote you add to the little guy is recognized by Alexa as a diffrent device so you can say commands like "Alexa turn off TV" if you name that remote TV.
It runs with an app called HomeMate which is pretty easy to use, you need to create an account then connect the cube to your network following some easy steps, there is no way to mess it up! The interface it's minimalistic and comfortable to use, each remote has the basic buttons on the front page and the less used buttons on a secondary page.
To add a device you just need to select the device type from a list, then you will be asked to press three buttons one the app of the suppoused control of your device and asked if the command worked or not. If none of the commands works then the app proceeds to the next remote an so on. The device has a pretty big database of companys and remotes but if you still can't find it, there is the option of learning your remote pointing it to the cube. Something worth noticing is that some TV's have a "toggle" command for power which means the same commands turns the TV on and off, so for example if the TV is off and you ask Alexa to turn OFF the TV, the TV will turn ON.
When it comes to controlling and air conditioner it gets much better, there is no such issue as the one I previously mentioned, I am also able to turn on the AC from work since the app works over mobile connections too.
The interface for the air conditioner it's pretty simple too, you can set fan speed, mode, etc. The only tricky part is finding out which brand is your unit and which remote it uses, I had to google for several minutes to find out my unit it's originally toshiba rebranded for example.
I would highly recommend this little cube, its easy to use, Alexa ready and proven to be pretty realiable so far.