|Produced from :||2008 - Dec 2010|
|Designed by :||David Lewis|
|Finish :||Black / Aluminium|
Bang & Olufsen has invested more effort and time in the research and development of intuitive operation principles and integration than any other consumer electronics company. Today, the full-fledged operation language is understood by all remote-controlled Bang & Olufsen product combinations. With the Beo5 remote control, Bang & Olufsen took the next step and introduced a fully-flexible and personalised remote that could handle operation of any product combination, even products with features and functions that have not even been designed yet.
“Although Beo5 is an entirely new and revolutionising remote control, operation remains based on principles our customers know. This was very important to us,” states CEO Torben Ballegaard Sørensen. “We stick to the extensive experience with user interfaces which we have obtained over the years, so operating your equipment remains as relevant, simple and intuitive as possible; with Beo5 we simply added complete flexibility”.
Every customer had his own fully personalised remote control
Beo5 was delivered without any features from the Bang & Olufsen factory, but is customised professionally before reaching the customer’s home by a Bang & Olufsen dealer in that it is configured to match the individual needs of a customer, giving him or her complete control of the set-up at home. Beo5 could be adapted to almost any home product set-up. Buttons and functions could be added or removed. Buttons could also be moved to suit, for example, left-handed use. Audio and video equipment could be combined for control of other remote-controlled systems such as light, curtains, windows, air-condition or security.
Ease-of-use through logical and intuitive operation
Beo5 had a new LCD colour display with a programmable touch-sensitive screen of chemically hardened front glass. This permits a user to activate functions which were relevant for individual need by pressing directly on the screen. The technology behind the operation of the display was a combination of two electronic products which represented different types of touch operation: Sensi-touch - where a button is detected, and Soft-touch - where function is physically activated by pressing down. Bang & Olufsen called this Touch-and-Go. There were twelve of these so-called dynamic buttons which could be named or moved around as a customer pleased.
A new visual stand point
The unusual visual expression of Beo5 was a contradiction in forms - the circle and the square. The circular aluminium ‘ball’, with its tactile keys and volume wheel, combined with the square glass display and its soft-touch keys called, as Bang & Olufsen put it “for attention”.
“The designer found inspiration in an ancient symbolic sign of power and control: the sceptre” explained Product Manager Torben Kyed. “The ball like the sceptre rests securely in your hand, and the display is the ornament that is often seen on top of the sceptre”.
Rests safely in the palm of your hand
A lot of effort was put into the ergonomics of Beo5. Extensive user tests showed that the three-dimensional shape of the ball and the design of the rear secured a solid grip and also reduced the distance a thumb had to travel to reach the outermost corners of the remote control. Another important element was the correct weight and balance, which were secured by placing a tungsten weight inside the ball. Materials were carefully selected to underline the importance of craftsmanship and robustness.
Intelligent rechargeable remote control
Having a colour LCD display and a multitude of programmable features meant you needed up to 1000 times more battery capacity than more simple remote controls. A rechargeable remote control was offered therefore in the design of the Beo5. The company advised that the handset be placed in its charger in intervals of no more than 10-12 days in order to replenish its batteries. The intelligent charging circuitry constantly optimised the life of the Beo5 batteries.
Robustness was essential
The display had a custom-made hardened glass front, with a thickness and grinding specified by the designer to ensure elegance and optimum robustness, but without sharp edges that could cut fingers. It had a robust rear part of infrared-transparent plastic to ensure the excellent signal range that Bang & Olufsen customers are accustomed to. Besides this, Beo5 underwent strict mechanical tests, such as tolerance to hand- lotion, scratch testing, temperature extremes and severe drop tests to ensure that the durability and robustness was as high or higher than existing remote controls from Bang & Olufsen.
(Based upon Press Release 14.02.09)
Beo5 was replaced by a similar-looking Beo6 in December 2010 but with wireless, two-way communication and a wider display.
Design over function
In use both the Beo6 and Beo5 are difficult to use, with the user often having to use both hands. With poor ergonomics - albeit with good programming facilities - both remotes could have been better than they were, especially with their possible programming possibilities via the Configuration Tool software.
Battery capacity: Stand-by approx. 12 days; active time typically 18 hours (3 hours continuously)
Charging time (from empty): approx. 5 hours
Charging interface: 5.0V DC +/- 10%, 400mA +/- 10%
Memory: 100 logos, 100 icons, 24 zones
Accessories: Table charger
Backlight: Intensity is automatically adjusted to room’s ambient light
Display: 320 x 240 pixels
Colour: 16777216 colours
Dimensions: (W x H x D) 69.3 x 115.8 x 32.3 mm