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Turn your iPhone into a remote for $250

Ben Drawbaugh

Anyone who's spent any time playing with an iPhone or a iPod Touch knows that its multi-touch interface is a hugh step forward in touch screen technology. So it's no wonder that everyone wants to control all of their electronics this way; and with the imminent release of Apple's application store, we're sure there are going to be a lot of interesting applications. The new AirRemote hits close to home for us though, as we're always looking for the next best thing in remotes. The big catch here is the price, while most universal remotes are less than $200, the AirRemote needs a little help from a home automation guru's favorite hardware, the GC-100 from Global Cache. The GC-100 is basically an Ethernet to IR and RS-232 bridge that helps the iPhone fill in a big missing feature that any HT remote needs, an IR blaster. The problem is it isn't cheap, 'cause as cool as this idea is, at $550 it's a bit expensive -- assuming $300 for an iPod Touch, $150 for the GC-100, and $100 for the software. But the price isn't even the biggest problem though, the real issue is a remote without any hard buttons isn't very useful for the usual HT duties like; fast forward, rewind, channel up, and volume. Because having to look down to hit the buttons, makes the remote impossible to use without taking your eyes off the action.

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