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Tag Archives: Remotes

3rd Generation EFO iPazzPort HTPC Remote Comes With A Handful Of New Tricks

EFO iPazzPort HTPC Remote (Images courtesy EFO)
By Andrew Liszewski

Last October we had a brief hands-on with what I believe was the original version of this EFO HTPC remote that combines a touch pad with a compact Blackberry-esque keypad in a remarkably light package. But here we are less than a year later and the third generation of this remote has already been unveiled. Besides the obvious slightly more ergonomic curved layout of the keys, the EFO iPazzPort now includes a laser pointer making it more useful in the world of corporate presentations, F1 to F12 function keys, multimedia playback keys including play, pause, next track etc. and a smaller USB dongle. The original version was around $40 but I believe generation 3 is a bit more at $45, but still, a surprisingly useful little device for the price.

[ EFO iPazzPort HTPC Remote ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

GEAR4 UnityRemote Saves Your iPhone From Cumbersome Dongles

GEAR4 UnityRemote (Image courtesy GEAR4)
By Andrew Liszewski

I like the idea of using an iPhone or an iPod Touch as a universal remote, but I’m not so crazy about having to stick it in a case, or attach some cumbersome dongle to give it IR functionality. So I really like the solution that GEAR4 has come up with for their UnityRemote. Instead of some accessory you have to attach to your device, a downloadable app talks to a separate Bluetooth controlled receiver that uses 5 infrared emitters to blast out commands in 360 degrees. That way you don’t have to worry about pointing your iPhone or iPod Touch in the right direction either. It’s not going to be available until October according to the GEAR4 website, so there’s not a lot of details available at the moment, but according to The Gadgeteer it will sell for $99. That’s pretty much $90 more than other options like the My TV Remote, so you’ll have to decide if the convenience is worth the extra coin.

[ GEAR4 Unity Remote ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

My TV Remote For The iPhone Costs Just $10 – So What Are You Waiting For?

My TV Remote (Images courtesy RyzMedia)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s definitely not the first universal remote accessory for the iPhone, but with a price tag of just $9.99 for the hardware and a free application, it’s safe to say it will probably be the first one a lot of people actually buy. The IR emitter can only be purchased through Ryz Media’s My TV Remote application, but it’s a free download that will probably change the way you use a universal remote.

Instead of a cacophony of on-screen function buttons, the app uses a program guide approach that lets you browse through channels and listings like you were scanning through your music collection. It’s also got social media connectivity like Facebook integration allowing you to see recommendations or what your friends are currently watching. Setup also appears to be a breeze, though at the moment the app is limited to watching TV, so controlling your other AV gear is hopefully just a software update away. And unless this is some kind of scam I’m not seeing, with a $10 price tag it’s pretty much an impulse buy.

[ My TV Remote ] VIA [ MobileCrunch ]

Logitech Harmony 300 – “A Remote For Everyone”

Logitech Harmony 300 (Image courtesy Pocket-lint)

Finally realizing that the majority of universal remotes sold at big box electronic stores aren’t the $300+ variety, Logitech has launched the Harmony 300, which ditches the LCD display, but gains a more reasonable price point of around $49.99. And like its more elaborate siblings, the Harmony 300 is easy to program. All you need to do is hook it up to your PC, visit the MyHarmony website (which for some reason redirects to www.iis.net at the moment) and replacing up to 4 other remotes is as easy as telling the site which devices you’re using. Their online database covers over 225,000 devices from over 5,000 brands, and since that list is growing every day, there’s a good chance your equipment is covered.

And even though it is lacking the LCD display that makes the more expensive models in the Harmony line highly customizable, the 300 still has a set of programmable buttons for quickly accessing your favorite channels or other custom functions. The Harmony 300 is expected to be available in early April in the U.S. and Europe.

[ PR – A Remote for Everyone: Logitech Harmony 300 Remote Unveiled ] VIA [ Pocket-lint ]

NewKinetix Rē Universal Remote IR Dongle For The iPhone Now Available

NewKinetix Rē Universal Remote IR Dongle (Images courtesy NewKinetix)
By Andrew Liszewski

Many years ago Casio had a line of watches that doubled as fairly capable universal remotes, but oddly enough it’s taken 3 iterations for the iPhone, a device considerably more capable, to gain such functionality. On one hand the Rē from NewKinetix is a little cumbersome since the NK100 IR dongle attaches to the bottom of your iPhone or iPod Touch, meaning you have to use it upside down, but on the other hand the touch-screen display means the remote can be easily configured any way you want it.

Everything is powered by the Rē Universal Remote Control App which is of course available as a free download from the iTunes App Store, and even though it comes with an extensive and updateable IR database for almost every remote on the planet, it’s also able to learn commands from that obscure device you picked up the last time you were wandering through the Akihabara district. And since memory isn’t an issue, you’re also able to program an unlimited number of macros or favorite channel lists, even on a room to room basis. With a price tag of $69.95 there are still cheaper universal remotes on the market, even with learning capabilities, but if a large touchscreen is on your feature list this is a no-brainer if you’ve already got an iPhone or iPod Touch.

[ NewKinetix Rē Universal Remote IR Dongle ]

Universal Remote Changes Channels, Opens Your Beer

Clicker

By Chris Scott Barr

If you’re drinking at home, where do you normally do it? My guess is that you’re probably on the couch with your eyes on the TV. I’m also guessing that you don’t keep a bottle opener on the coffee table. That means if you’re drinking a brew that doesn’t have a twist-off cap,  you have to remember to open it in the kitchen. Wouldn’t you rather just bring it into the living room and open it with an inconspicuous bottle opener? That’s what I thought.

Behold The Clicker. Technologically, there is little to be admired about this standard universal remote. However, you’ll no doubt notice the shiny metal indentation on the side. This, my friends, is (as you guessed) a bottle opener. Seriously, what more do you need out of a remote? Unfortunately there’s currently no word on pricing or availability.

[ MyClicker ] VIA [ Dvice ]

iMote Lets You Decide Which Stations Your Kids Watch

imote-kid-remote-264x500

By Chris Scott Barr

I don’t have kids, but I do know that there is plenty on TV that I wouldn’t want a small child to see. Most parents seem to have good enough sense not to give their kids control of the remote, which lets them make sure they’re only watching suitable programming. Now if you’re the type that wants to give your child a little freedom to watch what they want at an early age, you have to jump through hoops to make sure that they don’t stumble onto bad channels. Or you could just get the iMote.

I have no idea why they felt the need to use the ‘i’ in the name, but that’s beside the point. The remote has only a handful of buttons, which is all a child needs. You’ve got your power and volume control, along with five channel buttons. You’ll program the five channels to the ones your child watches most, thus assuring they will never see anything inappropriate. If you like to leave your kid alone with the TV for extended periods, it might be worth $30.

[ ThinkGeek ] VIA [ CoolestGadets ]

Self-Powered Battery-Less Remote

Battery-Less Remote (Image courtesy NEC)
By Andrew Liszewski

Well here’s a brilliant idea. A subsidiary of NEC called NEC Electronics, or NECEL for short, have developed a TV remote control that will never require you to change batteries, nor will it ever run out of power. Every time a couch potato picks up the remote and pushes any of the buttons, the vibrations of those motions generates a small amount of electricity which is enough to perform basic TV remote operations like changing the channel or adjusting the volume. The remote, or at least its power unit, is being developed in conjunction with another company called Soundpower, and instead of it just being a research project, the companies intend for the technology to hopefully hit the market in the next couple of years.

[ NEC Electronics Battery-Less Remote ] VIA [ Asiajin ]

Hands-On With The Unisen Handheld Keyboard & Mouse Touchpad

Unisen Handheld Keyboard & Mouse Touchpad (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

How often have you come across a gadget that was only available as an import item and thought to yourself, “hey! I could really use that, but the website selling it looks a bit sketchy and how do I even know it will work as well as they claim it does, if at all?” Such was the case with the Compact Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad we brought you a few weeks ago. A friend of mine thought the same thing when he first saw it, but since it was the exact thing he needed for his HTPC he decided $40 wasn’t that big of a loss if the thing was a total piece of crap, but it turns out it isn’t.

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