CES 2010 launch: L5 app makes iPhone into universal remote, but do we want it?

From February, iPhone users will be able to turn their handset into a universal remote for the electrical goods in their house.
16 universal remote.jpg

Universal remotes such as Logitech’s Harmony already exist, and L5 is taking it one step further by ditching the handset altogether, using the hardware on the iPhone and simply providing an accessory and app. This means your iPhone could control everything.

According to a report on the Apple Blog, L5 have made an accessory which clips into the iPhone’s power socket and lets the phone beam commands to electrical devices up to 30ft away. The app provides the user interface, a screen of buttons that you can rearrange according to your taste. The app is free with the device which will cost approximately $45.

L5 describe the features:
– Powerful enough to replace a coffee table full of remotes.
– Drag and drop to design the remote you want.
– Keep the buttons you use. Delete the ones you don’t.
– Quick and easy setup.
– Intuitive app for iPhone and iPod touch.
– No batteries, no WiFi, no wall plug needed.
– 100,000 button/1000 remote capacity.

But do we want it?
It would make the iPhone even more indispensable, but would you want one gadget to all that? Commenters on the AppleBlog post said no. Several pointed out that they wouldn’t actually want a phone that doubled up as remote control – what if you receive a call and then want to pause or mute the TV?

Commenter Niraj says: “Yeah, or if you are in a call and want to change the channel. Or if you handed the phone to a friend or relative to talk to someone, and now you can’t control your TV? A remote control seems like the kind of thing where you *do* want a dedicated device”.

And Chese spells out a disaster scenario where multitasking your smartphone as your remote results in your other half leaving to watch TV in the bedroom and your iPhone getting soaked in beer.

We’re just saying – it could get complicated…

More information from L5: http://l5technology.com/

Anna Leach

2 comments

  • All those problems like in a call and wanting to change the channel wouldn’t affect me, because i only have an iPod Touch =3

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