Having already provided a remote for the control of iOS devices with its BT Media Remote, Satechi has reversed things by releasing a dongle that turns an iOS device into a universal remote control. In combination with a free app, the Universal Remote dongle enables control of devices around the home that use infrared remote controllers.
While iOS devices have already proven popular for the control of everything from home entertainment equipment to UAVs, such systems generally rely on the iOS device’s inbuilt Wi-Fi capabilities. This rules out the control of household devices whose remote controls rely on infrared. The Satechi dongle connects to an iOS device’s 3.5 mm audio jack to provide the necessary infrared transmitter for communicating with such devices.
The dongle works with the RemoteBean app, which contains a database of thousands of products from major manufacturers. For devices not included in the database, a learning function provides support for less common devices.
Infrared dongles for like Satechi’s offering are nothing new, with similar devices, such as the VooMote One and L5 Remote, both around for well over a year now. However, with an introductory price of US$24.99, the Satechi Universal Remote dongle is the cheapest we’ve seen and it is more compact than the aforementioned devices.
The device is compatible with iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S/5, iPad/2/3/4/Mini & iPod Touch 5G/4G. The accompanying RemoteBean app is available as a free download from the App Store.