HANDS-ON: Griffin AppPowered Beacon universal iPhone remote

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The Griffin AppPowered Beacon universal iPhone remote was one of our favourite finds at this years CES conference in Las Vegas this year. Set to hit UK stores in the near future, we caught up with the Griffin team to give the Beacon another look.

Powered by 4 AA batteries, the Beacon is a Bluetooth IR tansmitter that, when paired with the appropriate iPhone/iPad Beacon app (desgined by Dijit) turns your tablet or smartphone into a universal remote control, capable of controlling all of the gadgetry in your house that would otherwise make use of an infra-red remote.

Palm sized, the Beacon will work anywhere in a room where line of sight to your phone is possible, which means it wont serve your entire house at once, but is so small and portable to make moving it around your entertainment set-ups in each room hardly a chore.

The Beacon supports literally thousands of brands and devices, meaning that your iPhone should be able to control practically any device you own, from big name brands and gadgets such as Sony’s PS3 right down to the budget DVD players you’d pick up in a supermarket bargain bin.

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Touchscreen controls, giving virtual playback, volume and device switching buttons, are fully customisable, so you can set each individual gadget’s controller to mimic the physical remote you may already have for it. Though due in a forthcoming software update, the Beacon currently does not support the coloured buttons used for accessing digital “Red Button” features.

“We are convinced that AppPowered Accessories are the future of the mobile accessories market’ says Mark Rowan, President of Griffin Technology.

“Consumer technology has made huge advancements in the last few years in both hardware and software. Sales in the iOS, smartphone and tablet market are flourishing and the number of applications available is phenomenal. It is clear to us that interaction between hardware and software is the future of the consumer technology market; enabling the consumer to get the best out of their product.

“Our unique understanding of the peripherals market and innovative approach to product design places Griffin firmly at the forefront of the AppPowered Accessories market. Although many companies are trying to enter the marketplace, we believe that we are best equipped to do this successfully. Griffin has a history of leading the market with hardware that transforms how mobile devices are used.”

Hitting Apple Stores later this month, you’ll be able to pick the Beacon up for £54.99.

Gerald Lynch

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