We visited Griffin's CES booth to check out the Beacon universal remote control
expecting yet another Redeye
clone, but instead wound up walking away impressed. Two notable features of the prototype Bluetooth to IR converter device are that it's battery powered and includes a 360 degree IR blaster. These are key since they give users the freedom to place the transmitter almost anywhere around an entertainment center. The free iPhone remote app built by Dijit was the real highlight though. The UI and functionality was incredibly intuitive, and we especially liked that the setup process doesn't require inputting device model numbers. Instead, users just pick the brand and then test a series of code cycles to see if their components respond. The TV guide and Netflix integration are also points of distinction over competitors -- since you can select shows or movies to watch directly from the app. Last but not least, your remote settings can be saved and downloaded to as many devices as you like. To give you a feel for the system, we've included plenty of shots of the app's UI in the gallery below along with more photos the device.