Peel Turns Your iPhone into a Universal Remote for Home Entertainment

A common problem among home owners is when it comes to home entertainment, they often would have to deal with a lot of remote controls. And although there have been universal remotes around, like the Logitech Harmony devices, these cost more than US$100.

Peel, a Santa Clara-based startup introduces a new system of controlling your home entertainment components using your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, and a gourd-like accessory called the Peel fruit.

The plastic fruit works as a middleman between your phone (or tablet) and your TV components. It uses WiFi connection to relay commands from the smartphone to the fruit, which then transmits the appropriate infrared signals to all of your hardware devices.

Using a free Peel app for your phone, and a $99 plastic gourd (which is available on the Apple Store), you can control almost everything from changing channels to swapping between different content sources. You can even customize the app so that it only recommends programs you are interested in.

Keep in mind that you have to position the fruit device where it can “see” all of the components. This means you will have to put it several feet in front of the TV set.

Setup is almost easy. Simply install the app and connect the device, then you are introduced to a wizard that would automatically figure out all the remote codes of the components. However, expect a lot of trial-and-error, especially if you have a lot of hardware.

Peel has also announced about a partnership with TiVo that will allow the app to navigate through show you have recorded on your DVR. It also plans to launch an integration program with Netflix within the year, as well as a version for Android devices.

Source: TechCrunch

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