Thursday, January 7, 2010

Accessory Turns iPhone Into Universal Remote

Accessory Turns iPhone Into Universal Remote

At CES 2010, L5 Technology is unveiling an accessory for iPhones and iPod touches that will turn them into a Universal Remote. Plug the unsurprisingly named L5 Remote into the iPhone or iPod touch’s dock connector, and with some free software, you're good to control your home media center.

The L5 remote measures 1.25 x .85 inches. The $50 remote requires no batteries of its own, though you can expect it to suck power from your already power-deprived iPhone. The app allows you to drag-and-drop buttons to create a customized remote control UI. The app also guides the end user through the process of programming the app to control your IR devices.

It sounds like a good idea, but here's the rub: it's already hard enough to keep track of your remote in the couch. Can you imagine trying to find this little L5 remote? Also, it will be annoying when the phone rings and you suddenly can't control anything (though a free little app for jailbroken iPhones can fix that).

Let's not even talk about how you probably don't care so much about pizza-grease-laden fingers on your $15 remote, but on your iPhone? Oh, and seriously, I like real buttons on my remote control, so I don't have to look at the darn thing. It's a nice try, but really, for my DirecTV DVR the $15 universal remote works just fine.

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