Use Your iPhone as a Universal Remote Control

That's right, just plug the infrared accessory into the USB port on the bottom of your iPhone and you have a fully customizable remote control. Two companies have introduced competing products at CES 2010.

NewKinetix iPhone Re Universal Remote

Both devices will come with a free companion app for download in the AppStore. The infrared adaptors are expected to hit stores within the first quarter of 2010 and will cost less than Wi-Fi based remote control solutions.

The NewKinetix Re IR accessory will run $69.96 and the L5 Remote is expected to cost $49.99. The NewKinetix device (pictured above) has a larger footprint, however the product has more features.

Both packages allow the user to customize the touch screen button layout. The infrared adaptors are capable of directly learning signals from any existing remote control. After setting up the buttons, macros can be programmed to perform multi-step tasks automatically, such as switching on several components and setting up AV equipment for a specific purpose.

Neither device requires batteries, as they are powered by the iPhone internal battery. The L5 Remote is capable of indexing 1,000 individual remotes and will allow up to 100,000 buttons to be programmed in the app.