Toshiba is working on a new universal remote that's a little different. It's a robot that'll learn how you interact with your house, rather than force you to program it.
Let's say you picked up your remote to turn on the television — the ApriPoko would pay attention to the IR signal transmitted and ask you what you just did. Once the 'bot learns, you could just ask ApriPoko directly next time to perform the same action.
Right now ApriPoko's limits are still being explored, but the little guy could end up controlling everything from you TV to all the appliances around your house. Researchers at the company are still working to bring the 'bot to the market.