Griffin Beacon universal remote control system hands-on

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.

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Griffin and Dijit Turn Your Mobile Device Into a Universal Remote

Beacon Universal Remote controls an entire entertainment system from a mobile device.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Griffin Technology, maker of innovations for everyday life, has partnered with software developer Dijit to turn your favorite iOS or smartphone device into a Universal Remote Control. Beacon allows fingertip control of your entire entertainment system, thanks to hardware and app integration from Griffin and Dijit. The system will be available for demonstration during CES, beginning January 6th, in the Griffin booth, iLounge Pavilion - North Hall #4727, and in the Dijit booth, iLounge Pavilion - North Hall #4137.

"Beacon allows control over the entire home theater setup, all from a pocket-sized device," said Matt Brown, Director of Product Development at Griffin. "Together with Dijit, we have created a powerful tool that really simplifies the entertainment experience by providing a customized program guide for all of your content in the home."

"Our partnership with Griffin Technology is making it possible for consumers to easily control their entertainment content from any iOS or smartphone device," said Maksim Ioffe, Founder and CEO of Dijit. "The Beacon brings flawless fingertip search and discovery of all of your entertainment content all from your smartphone."

Beacon turns an iOS or smartphone device into a handy, easy-to-use remote for home entertainment systems by converting Bluetooth signals from your device to the infrared commands your components are expecting. Beacon pairs your iOS device or smartphone with Dijit's Universal Remote App, putting complete control of your home entertainment center in the palm of your hand. There are no bulky cases or dongles, no messy wires or cables.

Setup and pairing is simple. Paired with Beacon via Bluetooth, your smartphone is just a few taps away from using Dijit's intuitive Programming Guide. Your Multi-Touch or touch screen display is the remote. You can change channels, volume, input, program your DVR, and lots, lots more.

The Dijit app uses a constantly updated device code library to make setting up controls for your TV, set-top box, sound system, media players and more simple and intuitive. For components not yet included in Dijit's library, the app also includes an integrated learning feature.

Key Features:

* Wireless universal audio/video controller for iOS and other smartphone platforms
* Low-profile component designed to blend unobtrusively with any decor on your coffee table
* Use your iOS or smartphone device as a powerful universal remote control, without dongles or cases
* Converts Bluetooth signals from your iOS or smartphone device to infrared signals required to control AV components
* For use with Dijit's Universal Remote app, a free download from the App Store
* No wires or power cables; runs up to two months on 4 AA batteries

Pricing and Availability

Beacon, $79.99, will be available May 2011. CES attendees can preview Beacon at the Griffin booth, iLounge Pavilion - North Hall #4727, and in the Dijit booth, iLounge Pavilion - North Hall #4137.

About Dijit

Dijit is the only company that that provides consumers with the ability to control, discover and share their home entertainment experience, no matter where they are. Dijit's Personal Media Assistant application runs on iPhone and Android, and can be used in conjunction all cable and satellite providers as well as new content providers like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in early 2011. Founded by entrepreneur Maksim Ioffe, Dijit is now available for download at Dijit is based in San Francisco with partners nationwide.

About Griffin Technology

Founded on Paul Griffin's kitchen table in 1992, Griffin Technology Inc., is today one of the world's foremost creators of accessories for home, mobile, and personal technology. Unique products such as iTrip®, PowerMate®, iFM®, iMic®, and Evolve® Wireless Speaker System have broken new ground in consumer electronics and created loyal fans the world over. Today, Griffin products are conceived, designed, and developed in-house and continue to push the envelope of the industry they helped create. Learn more about Griffin's entire range of ingenious designs at