We first introduced you to ThinkFlood’s RedEye mini back in March, and now it’s finally available. This portable, convenient, and extremely useful IR sensor accessory, accompanied by the free RedEye app, can turn your iDevice into an inexpensive universal touchscreen remote.
RedEye mini offers a few big advantages over similar iPhone products, and even over stand-alone touchscreen devices from companies like Logitech. For starters, this IR adapter uses the iDevice headphone jack instead of the 30-pin dock connector. What does that mean? You can keep your iDevice upright and you can use the dock connector for charging or any other purpose. Seeing as this device is controlled by the an iPhone app, it’s much easier to keep up-to-date, uses a device — your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad — that you’ll have nearby anyway, and doesn’t require additional batteries.
The RedEye mini is capable of controlling most audio and visual equipment from up to 30-feet away and currently has access to a 45,000 IR code online database covering over 1,200 device manufacturers. If for some reason your device isn’t in the database yet, the RedEye mini can learn the codes directly from that device’s remote. What’s so special about this remote solution compared to other universal remotes? It’s adaptive and full of features because a touchscreen user interface can change as needed. Your TV controls are different than your Blu-ray or home theater receiver. Each device and function can have a layout optimized for that specific task.
The RedEye app puts everything into convenient categories. Once you choose a room, you can pick an activity or command to perform. The software can take “macro” commands to a whole new level. Macro buttons and smart actions can allow you to perform any number of commands in a single tap. For example, you can have the RedEye app turn off your cable or satellite set top box, turn on the Blu-ray player, change your audio receiver’s input, change the audio receiver DSP mode from standard to theater 1, and finally tell the Blu-ray to begin playing the movie.
ThinkFlood has really taken this to a great level. RedEye supports iOS 3.x but takes advantage of iOS 4.x multitasking and the iPhone 4′s Retina display for those with the latest iDevices and software. The upcoming version 1.3 will also include an integrated channel guide, making the entire experience that much more seamless.
You can use RedEye mini with a second or third generation iPod touch, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPad running iOS 3.0 or later. The package includes the RedEye mini universal remote adapter and a carrying case with keychain. The RedEye mini is available directly from ThinkFlood or select worldwide retailers for a manufacturer suggested retail price of $49.
I can’t find too many limitations with this package, except maybe a truly universal app to take full advantage of the iPad’s screen real-estate. However, a mere $50 compared to a possible few hundred for some other touchscreen remote systems is quite reasonable. The only thing lacking with this solution is access to devices from other rooms or away from home. If that functionality is up your alley, check out ThinkFlood’s regular RedEye for $188.