What’s this? Another “turn-your-iPhone-into-a-universal-remote” accessory? Yeah it is. It’s not the most unique idea, for sure, but the Griffin Beacon does it a bit differently. Instead of using Wi-fi to hook up the iOS device and the IR receiver, the Beacon makes use of the phone’s Bluetooth connection, which it then turns into an IR signal for controlling your home entertainment system. What’s the difference between using Wi-fi and Bluetooth? They’re both wireless and Wi-fi will give you a higher range, but a Bluetooth connection won’t need a router and it’s a hell of a lot easier to set up.
The Griffin Beacon uses the Dijit Universal Remote app for iOS for the remote’s interface, giving you common controls like volume, channel, playback and navigation for controlling anything from your HDTV and Blu-ray player to a Cable box or Apple TV. The Griffin Beacon itself is listed to support more than 200,000 devices, and can run on four AA batteries to make it completely wireless.
It’s out now for $80, while the Dijit remote app is free on iTunes.