ThinkFlood Launches Universal Remote Control System for iPhone/iPod touch

RedEye accelerometer gestures

ThinkFlood--a Waltham, Massachusetts-based start-up that describes itself as designing and developing "hardware and software with a focus on making everyday tasks easier"--on Wednesday unveiled its first commercial product, the RedEye personal remote control for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to the company, RedEye, which has an MSRP of $188 and which uses WiFi to replace infrared-based remote control systems, is the only remote control system for the iPhone/iPod touch that allows users to control "virtually any" home entertainment device from any room in the home.

In order to set up the new remote control system, customers download a free RedEye app from the Apple App Store, and place a RedEye base station (which also serves as a charging dock) in the same room as the equipment it will control. The iPhone/iPod touch then communicates with the base station through the customer's wireless network to control TV's, DVR's, stereos, gaming equipment and more, ThinkFlood says. According to the company, customers can download codes from a RedEye global code database which is updated regularly, and the RedEye system also has a learning function that allows users to program commands using an existing device remote. "We wanted to create something more than just another remote control," ThinkFlood co-founder and president, Matt Eagar, said in a prepared statement. "Internet connectivity and future software updates give us a lot of room to think big."

In its promotional materials for RedEye, ThinkFlood lists various arguments for choosing the RedEye system over a traditional universal remote or home automation system: 1) For a lower price and without requiring professional installation or technical know-how, the company says, RedEye offers various features that were previously available only in full home automation systems and high-end universal remotes; 2) instead of having one remote for every device, or "an oversized universal remote with too many buttons," RedEye customers only need to handle an iPhone/iPod touch; 3) the RedEye system supports multiple rooms, controllers and users simultaneously, controls a "virtually unlimited" number of devices, and can store a "virtually unlimited" number of commands, "far exceeding competitive product offerings"; 4) the system offers "activity-based control, meaning users can program RedEye to execute a series of commands with only one touch" with "only the buttons appropriate to the activity appear[ing] on the screen"; and 5) RedEye users can "customize the way they control their equipment with touchscreen buttons, Apple's Multi-Touch gestures, and accelerometer controls. For example," the company continues, "swiping two fingers down the screen can reduce volume and flicking the iPhone forward can change the channel."

Demo videos of the RedEye system are embedded above. In addition, NewTeeVee's Lianne Cassavoy has a hands-on review of the system here.

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