L5 Turns iPhone into Universal Remote
Using the iPhone as a universal remote is an idea that has always seemed to have a lot of appeal, as tech-friendly people tend to have a lot of electronic devices in the living room. We've seen products that purport to bring that functionality to the iPhone, but require a separate, rather pricey, infrared base
. Now L5 Technology has announced at CES
an elegant, small-form factor accessory at a reasonable price. Though it's no more than a press release at this time, it looks promising.
The accessory, called the L5 Remote, is projected to cost $49.95 and will be available in February. The product consists of an IR transmitter that connects to, and is powered by, the iPhone's dock connector. The company says that with the transmitter and the app, you'll be able to control pretty much any TV, cable/satellite box or Front Row compatible device: from up to an impressive 30 feet away.
The app sounds as if it's done right. You can create your own custom button configuration by dragging and dropping the control interfaces from your several devices and laying them out in whatever arrangement works best for you. L5 claims universal compatibility through a “short, guided training sequence” with each component you want to control: the website says you have to "press the corresponding button on your old remote while pointing it at your new L5 Remote." It's not clear from the press release or the website, but hopefully there will also be a code database available for the app, as "learn" sequences are usually pretty tiresome, and seldom seem to end up with really good results.
The app can store up to 100,000 buttons and control up to 1,000 remotes, and is compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch that can run iPhone OS 3.0 or better. More information is available at L5 Technology's web site
image via L5 Technology