Ditch those dongles
and throw out those cases
, the next level of smartphone-as-universal-remote technology is here. Beacon Universal Remote Control System from Griffin Technology and Dijits turns your iPhone and other iOS devices into omnipotent remote controls, by converting Bluetooth signals into infrared commands that your stereo, TV, and other devices can recognize. Paired with Dijit's Universal Remote App, Beacon, which looks something akin to a game show buzzer, converts your touchscreen to a remote, making all the added cases, dongles, and even cords unnecessary -- it can run up to two months on four AA batteries. Beacon hits the market in May 2011 for $79.99, but if you're lucky enough to be at CES
this week, you can check out a demo at Griffin's booth.