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  • 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
    This article was originally published in forum thread: L5 Turns iPhone into Universal Remote started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. ithug's Avatar
      ithug -
      49.95 is reasonable but affordable would be 24.99 ill like to own one soon though
    1. gcastro723's Avatar
      gcastro723 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ithug View Post
      49.95 is reasonable but affordable would be 24.99 ill like to own one soon though
      yeah, what he said,
    1. davedave1234's Avatar
      davedave1234 -
      wonder if it does activity or macro based functions? if not it is a no go for me. I need it to turn on the tv, amp and set the inputs with one button press. otherwise it sounds good to me.
    1. brianlg's Avatar
      brianlg -
      cant wait to buy one used on amazon
    1. santacruzlocal's Avatar
      santacruzlocal -
      Yeah ... what both of them said !!!!
    1. dieselboy27's Avatar
      dieselboy27 -
      This is great, I recall there being a similar hardware device being reported on that was plugged into the headphone jack that never materialized. I hope that we see a lot more iPhone accessories that take advantage of the 3.0 fw abilities. I have been very disappointed that we have seen so few hw manufacturers release good peripherals.
    1. staterunner180's Avatar
      staterunner180 -
      How many universal remotes are people going to make for the iPhone? I'm pretty sure this is the 3rd for 4th time I've seen a post on this site about a universal remote for iPhone.
    1. fungusfeet's Avatar
      fungusfeet -
      gimmick....who is going to get their iphone out and load up the app just to change the channel...ridiculous.

      on a side note, with the iphone having built in bluetooth is there a way they could add ps3 support?
    1. sunhillcopper's Avatar
      sunhillcopper -
      I'm always losing the remote, but never my phone - (which is always nearby, and I can ring it if it has gone awol unlike a remote) so I think this is a really useful idea. Can't wait to try it out. I think the price is reasonable and will get cheaper if the gadget takes off.
    1. isham.padron's Avatar
      isham.padron -
      Looks like a battery draining app with a hardware key. No thanks! I still want to be able to use it as a phone when I need to.
    1. SiLeNtKiLLa's Avatar
      SiLeNtKiLLa -
      Quote Originally Posted by isham.padron View Post
      Looks like a battery draining app with a hardware key. No thanks! I still want to be able to use it as a phone when I need to.
      Not seeing this draining the batt any more than people use there iPhone for texting. You change the channel and go in standby, not much batt used from what I can see.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      very cool. I might pick one up
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      That adapter is so ugly.
    1. DoubleD's Avatar
      DoubleD -
      This is cool! I was scanning thru their FAQ's and came across this:

      Can a user take control of a TV in a public place such as a bar or restaurant?
      Yes. Actually, you could always use a universal remote control to take control of someone else’s TV. The difference is that most people don’t carry a universal remote with them… unless it’s also their iPhone.

      Just sit back and watch the chaos when the channel gets changed at a sports bar LOL
    1. 2886zhu's Avatar
      2886zhu -
      any one know there will making high Mega Plxels web camera adapter for Iphone 1G,3G or Ipod touch, then we will making Video Chat and take high quality pics,that's sound good?before maked GPS adapter,now got romote adapter,,,why not no web cam adapter?
    1. sfrawley's Avatar
      sfrawley -
      My battery already goes down too fast. This is another device sucking power and like above, the macros are a big deal. It took a long time to get all my devices coordinated with Harmony(s) and I don't want to have to do it manually. Harmony's method can be frustrating even with their online wizard!
    1. eballesq's Avatar
      eballesq -
      For those wondering about macros...why could one not use a macro signal from an existing universal remote to "train" the device? The macro is simply an ordered series of IR bursts, is it not? I guess we'll have to wait until the app can be tested and played around with.

      I think this idea is great. I'd carry that L5 in my pocket and be able to control any TV in my house (as well as my whole house audio system) without ever looking for a damn remote.
    1. smiska2's Avatar
      smiska2 -
      Great...another way to drain the power on the battery!
    1. Blowfish64's Avatar
      Blowfish64 -
      Quote Originally Posted by smiska2 View Post
      Great...another way to drain the power on the battery!
      Oh my God, people, give it a rest. IR takes almost no energy. If you're so concerned about your precious battery, DON'T BUY ONE!!
    1. robbyrob's Avatar
      robbyrob -
      eBay here I come. And oh yea what all three of them said.