The UnityRemote from gear4 is a shiny piece of toy that turns your iPhone (or iPod touch) into a full fledged universal remote. The shiny device sits on a table in your room full of remote controllable gadgets. This device is connected to your iPhone via a bluetooth link. Your iPhone has an app which you can use to send commands to the UnityRemote which then sends the corresponding infrared signal to your device.
The system is pretty innovative. There have been other such devices, but all of them work over a WiFi network. This is the first one with bluetooth support. So you need not have a WiFi network at your home. And its pretty cheap at $99. Actual universal remotes with comparable features are priced at $249 or above!
UnityRemote comes preloaded with a list of hundreds of devices from major manufacturers to choose from. However, if your device is not in the list, UnityRemote can ‘learn‘ the functions by pointing the device’s remote towards the UnityRemote and pressing the buttons on the remote.
The UnityRemote is powered by 3 AA batteries and has multiple infrared emitters. So, it doesn’t matter where your device is in the room, as long as its within the line of sight of the UnityRemote. The UnityRemote also boasts of power savings features to preserve battery life. The iPhone app also supports gestures and programmable actions. So you can swipe to change volume or channels and program actions to power on your blu ray player, and switch your TV & Home Theater to the corresponding inputs.
All in all, a neat piece of accessory. Interested? You can buy it here.
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