We've been waiting for more companies to come out with IR dongle/iPhone app combos that allow you to turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a highly functional universal remote for your AV gear. And now the folks at New Potato Technologies have jumped on the iPhone remote bandwagon with Flipr, which retails for $79.99.
Available now at NewPotatoTech.com, the small dongle will also be sold at Best Buy starting March 28. Once you've bought the dongle, you can then download the free Flipr App from the App store and start using your Apple touch-screen device as a touch-screen remote.
New Potato says that unlike other universal remote solutions for iPhone and iPod Touch the Flipr works with hundreds of brands of devices out of the box. "Flipr's extensive database of over 14,000 preprogrammed remote control codes means that you don't have to spend time learning your existing remotes button by button," the company notes.
If you're hoping for a Logitech Harmony-like experience, the Flipr isn't there yet, though you can program in some macros to turn on multiple devices in sequence. New Potato says that it plans to add more functionality in future upgrades to the Flipr app, but for now the software isn't nearly as robust as Logitech's.
After using the remote for a bit, we certainly liked the concept, but we think New Potato is going to have a tough sell at $79.99. Just a few days ago, Logitech announced two new sub-$100 Harmony remotes; one even has a color screen. Also, RedEye has an iPhone universal remote solution that now costs $49.99. For better or worse, we think New Potato Technologies (and Best Buy) will have to price this at less than $50--and probably less than $40--to have a shot.
Of course, it's very possible Logitech is also looking at developing a Harmony iPhone app and IR dongle solution along the the same lines as Flipr. It would probably be a good idea, right?