Thinkflood RedEye iPhone accessory
Thinkflood's infrared transmitter turns your iPhone into a universal remote
- One-touch activities initiate multiple functions
- Wi-Fi network is unsecured and doesn't have a long range, dock setup is unwieldy
We do like the idea of using your iPhone or iPod Touch to control one or more home theatre setups within your home, but Thinkflood's RedEye Remote Control System has too many drawbacks.
Price$ 207.00 (AUD)
In theory, smartphones make the perfect universal remote: they are almost always on you, many have touch screens, and their Internet connection means you can update your app to suit any additions to your home theatre arsenal. Unfortunately, smartphones lack the RF and infrared (IR) connectivity required to communicate with these devices. ThinkFlood's RedEye Remote Control System attempts to solve this conundrum by translating Wi-Fi signals from your iPhone or iPod Touch into infrared signals. While it's easy to configure, we think you'll be reaching for the original remote after no more than five minutes of using this system.
The RedEye Remote Control System consists of a cheap-looking, plastic iPhone dock, power adapter and dock adapters to suit both the iPhone and iPod Touch. To set it up, just download the free RedEye iPhone app from the App Store and connect to the unsecured wireless network transmitted from the bundled dock.
On the app's launch, you'll have to add a room to identify the RedEye dock, and then add each device in that room. The app will look for a preconfigured set of infrared commands for each device, though we had no luck finding configurations for the televisions and media players we used. Instead, we opted for manual configuration, which involves pointing the original remote at the dock and teaching it each button as individual commands. Even here, the success rate wasn't 100 per cent, as the dock failed to recognise all button presses from multiple IR remotes.
Once configured, commands sent from the RedEye iPhone app will be transmitted to the dock via the wireless network. They are then translated and sent out as infrared commands to the relevant home theatre component. Due to this process, there is a slight lag after issuing a command from the iPhone, particularly when doing a repetitive action like increasing volume. However, it definitely works.
The RedEye iPhone app provides a customisable virtual remote.
Those accustomed to Logitech's Harmony universal remotes will no doubt be familiar with the RedEye app's "activities" feature, which allows you to initiate multiple functions on multiple devices with a single touch (for example, turn the volume up on your amplifier and switch on the TV at the same time). Entering an activity also brings up a graphical virtual remote, which has a customisable button layout that can be as simple or as complex as you like. You can even assign accelerometer flicks and multi-touch gestures to each function, though we found responsiveness to these was sporadic during use. You can set up a virtual remote to control individual devices as well, but the system can be complicated and tedious to set up.
Then of course, there's the dock itself. Anyone who has ever become frustrated with a non-responsive remote control will likely know that infrared requires line of sight in order to work. This means that the bundled dock must be positioned in a way that it has an uninterrupted view of the front of each of your home theatre components. A setup like this is surprisingly difficult to accomplish with the RedEye accessory, and mounting the dock on the ceiling is an unsightly prospect. In fact, there's no real need for the dock itself, since all commands are transmitted to the accessory wirelessly.
Though we haven't tested alternative universal remote solutions like the Re IR accesssory and L5 Remote, their use of an adapter that connects to the iPhone rather than a standalone accessory seems like a better design.
Thinkflood's RedEye Remote Control System is a nice concept, but it is ultimately let down by an unwieldy dock and a disappointing app. Better solutions might one day transform the iPhone and iPhone Touch into the perfect universal remote, but for now we'll stick with dedicated solutions.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
- Denon's latest S-Series A/V receivers are built for 4K Ultra HD video and 3D audio
- New Roku Streaming Stick allows private listening via your mobile device
- Foxconn to pay over $US6bn for a majority stake in Sharp
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCSiebel AnalystACT
- CCSenior AGILE Business AnalystNSW
- CCSCRUM MasterNSW
- CCChange Manager x 2NSW
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCContract Snr IT Assistant (IT Operation/UNIX) 160504/SITA/982Asia
- CCWebOps EngineerVIC
- CCNV2 - System Administration / Application SupportACT
- CCSenior Automation Tester - MicroservicesNSW
- CCSenior Analyst, Applications - GDWVIC
- CCInfrastructure Solution Designer - Oracle Exadata/ExalogicVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- FTProject Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- CCSales Development Executive - Software SolutionsNSW
- CCScrum MasterNSW
- CCWeb AdministratorACT
- CCBusiness Project ManagerAsia
- FTInfrastructure Project ManagerACT
- CCAWS ArchitectNSW
- CCAdobe Experience Manager AEM / CQ5 DeveloperNSW
- CCApplication Migration ArchitectACT
- FTSenior Middleware Lead Shared Services (Support and EngineeringVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - ICT SecurityNSW
- CCMessaging EngineerNSW