∞ Device turns iPhone, iPod touch into universal remote

L5 Technology is using this week’s CES trade show in Las Vegas to debut the L5 Remote, a $50 accessory (paired with a free application) that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a universal remote control. It’s coming in February.

The accessory plugs into the iPhone or iPod touch’s dock connector. It measures 1.25 x .85 inches. Using a free app you’ll be able to download from the App Store, you drag and drop buttons into place to control your home entertainment devices.

The accessory works without batteries and will control any number of devices within about 30 feet, according to the manufacturer. It doesn’t require independent batteries, Wi-Fi or external power to function.

(Although L5 issued a press release, the company’s Web site hadn’t been updated with info about the product as The Loop posted this news.)

  • Jim Dalrymple

    If this works, I’m getting one.

  • If it didn’t need the dongle and sent a command via Bluetooth or wi-fi to a control box, then I’d get one. If I need to search for this dongle to change the channel, I might as well just grab a real remote.

    • Jim Dalrymple

      Good point. However, I do have an iPod touch that I could dedicate to the device, which would make it a lot easier.

      • You could only dedicated the iPod touch for as long as you didn’t need a charge or didn’t need to sync it with your Mac then you’d have to pull it.

        I’m not saying you couldn’t keep the dongle handy, but it does block the dock connector, which is pretty damn important.

    • Hi Patrick,

      Last month we released a product that does exactly this – RedEye ( http://redeyeremote.com ) is a Wi-Fi to infrared bridge plus app that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a universal remote. Let us know if you have any questions.



      • While certainly an insteresting device, your redeye device is obscenely overpriced. You can’t possibly convince me that thing costs anywhere near $200 to produce – who in their right mind would spend that much on a remote (or in this case, one part of a remote)?

        Cut that price to a third and it’ll be reasonable.

        • Bill

          Advantage – Redeyeremote – With WIFI you can control it from anywhere you are. With the L5 it’s line of site only.

          Huge disadvantage – I could get one of those L5’s for each room for the price of one Redeyeremote.

  • Jim Dalrymple

    Very cool, thanks Matt!

  • jeffb

    Unless you’re willing to devote your itouch to remote functions, this L5 device is DOA. The redeye device is interesting, but I agree, it’s too pricey. In their defense, they view their competition as the logitech harmony line, which can run up to $200, but not many people need all that functionality. The lower end Harmony is under $100–that’s the upper limit for what I’d pay for the redeye, $60-$70 makes the choice much easier.

  • Marcos

    I don’t know if their “pick your buttons from each of your remotes” setup is going to be that useful. One nice thing about the Logitech brand of programmable remotes is that you set it up with devices you own and activities you do (‘watch dvd”) and sets everything appropriately. That seems better than having to layout buttons from 4-5 devices and designing it all myself.

    I think, ultimately, the iPhone/iPod touch could be the perfect platform for universal remotes but I’m not sure yet this is the one.

  • Moryl

    Tempting… Interesting, for 50$ it is still at the edge of reasonable… – Would I pay 50 bucks for an additional remote control? hmmm…..

    Second question, is it just a remote control? I have been looking for something to stream movies from my iphone to TV wirelessly. Some remote controsl (MX-6000) allow it for music. Can you do that?

    The thought really came from universal remote controls, I mean.. how capable are the apps. I have seen some universal remote controls with ridiculous feature costing over 400$ with built in screen and what not…

    • Glenn

      Alereon is introducing a wireless laptop-to-HDTV streaming product in the next month or so. Pretty cool! Check it out at http://www.alereon.com.

  • Steve

    Now if they could only get this device to make phonecalls, wouldn’t that be the cat’s meow?

    My phonecall with my girlfriend dropped a total of 5 times last night before we gave up. It never stops with this phone. I’m eager to see more advanced versions of the Droid and other toys to rival, because seriously, it’s total junk as an actual cell phone. Pity.

  • Dan Shapely

    Why does there always seem to be one guy that has to throw out a whammy like this during the middle os unrelated discussions? sigh

    There are so many other things that could be causing the issue here…to blame the iPhone (and in so doing – the entire iPhone platform as a whole) is lazy, and unfair.

    Do you really think Apple could sell 16million phones if they all had problems like you describe? What have you done to resolve your issue? Have you had your iPhone checked out? In the off chance that is the iPhone itself and not the wireless network, local interference (or your girlfriends phone, network, or local interference) – Apple will be happy to replace a defective device.

    On the other hand, you could go with your plan A – go buy a droid. If you in fact had a hardware problem, it will be cured and you will feel vindicated, mistakenly telling everyone you know how “All iPhones suck & Droid rules”.

    If you were having a network issue…and you get a droid on AT&T, you will still have a network issue, but you’ll probably still blame Apple.

    If you were having a network issue and and you switch to Verizon for a Droid… you will probably still blame the iPhone without every knowing the true cause of your issue.

    If you have a local interference issue, you will most likely still have the problem no matter what phone you use…so will you call all future phones you buy “Junk”?

    Oh well, I’m guess there is no point in even discussing this with you as you have your mind made up already. I’m sure you are also a PC user who feel that macs are “good for graphic designers” …it’s hard to enlighten those who do not wish to see.


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  • Dan

    For simple remotes, check out http://www.FlipperRemote.com. A new device, it only controls your TV and set top box. Eliminates button confusion and channel overload! Its not for everyone (designed for seniors and kids), but for those of us that only watch 20 or so channels, its great – and I'm only 40!

  • Thanks Peter…sounds really great 🙂