How much would you pay for an iPhone remote control? Peel is hoping the answer extends to at least a few hundred; the company is following the unusual approach of putting its first ZigBee-based universal remote systems up for silent auction, testing the water to see just what users reckon it's all worth.
Let's face it gang, we all know that there is a chance that the gadget you asked for Santa to bring you might not be the right gadget. Little details like processor speed and 3G or non-3G version tend to escape the non-geek when they are shopping. If you end up with a gift that came from Best Buy tomorrow that isn’t exactly what you wanted you will have to take it back.
Remote controls are tricky little things. No matter how hard you try, there's always going to be a day that you can't find the one you're looking for. But, a pillow is big enough that you probably don't lose that all the time. Luckily enough, someone was crafty enough, or ingenious enough, to come up with the pillow remote control, so we get the best of both worlds.
Most universal remotes, Logitech reckons, have a "bad reputation" for being tricky to program; that's something the company hopes to amend with the new Logitech Harmony 300. Capable of replacing up to four remotes, the real interest is in Logitech's newly redesigned myharmony.com setup site that promises easy configuration for over 225,000 devices covering 5,000 brands.
Video demo after the cut
Logitech have outed two new universal remote controls in their Harmony series, and unlike other models in the line-up they both come in at under $100. The Logitech Harmony 650 and the Logitech Harmony 600 are pretty much identical, bar the 650 having a color display that's network icon capable.
Universal remote controls are getting to be so complex that you could reasonably be more entertained by them than you are with what's on your big-screen TV. Last we heard of Silver PAC they were pushing their eye-catching digital photo frame; now the company is promising an equally distinctive touchscreen remote control for launch at CES 2010, the Silver PAC evolution 5500. Based around a finger-friendly 4.3-inch display, the evolution 5500 not only controls your Windows Media Center but up to 100 other devices and has SideShow functionality.
I have been using and reviewing Logitech Harmony remotes for years and so far, I have found them to be some of the best universal remotes on the market. The only real downside to most of the Harmony remotes is that they are expensive devices.
Universal remotes are still all the rage, right? Well, SMK-Link is either hoping that's still the case, or that there's still someone out there who hasn't consolidated all of their home entertainment remotes down into one, fancy-looking device. Of course, there's always the little fact that this remote, the Blu-Link, actually controls your PlayStation 3, too. And, according to SMK-Link, they're the first company to do it, while also including other home entertainment devices.
Logitech have unveiled their latest universal remote, the Harmony 900, an RF unit that - with the three bundled IR blasters - can control devices in other rooms or enclosed in cabinets. The Harmony 900 remote has a full-color touchcreen as well as numerous backlit hardware buttons, and can be set up via an online wizard; Logitech claim battery life of up to a week.
Logitech have announced availability for their Harmony Adapter for the PS3, the adapter which links the company's Harmony universal remotes with the Sony console. Priced at $59.99, the Harmony Adapter will be available "in the next few weeks" in North America, together with a European launch in July and an imminent arrival in Australia.
Update: It's available to order at Amazon