Consumers continue to be attracted to new solutions that reduce the need for multiple remote controls in their homes. The InstaMote from Switzerland is the latest device that allows a smartphone to be used as a remote control, eliminating the need for all other remotes cluttering the couch and coffee table.
InstaMote attaches to a smartphone and transforms it into an infrared remote. Every infrared electronic device in the home is compatible with InstaMote, including air conditioners, fans, DVD players, Blu-ray players, game consoles and TVs. InstaMote is compatible with all iOS 5 and newer smartphones, as well as all Android 2.3 and newer smartphones. InstaMote has a built-in battery that will last about six months under heavy usage, and can be easily replaced. The device also has a larger working range, at up to 15 meters, than typical remote controls and more compatibility than standard universal remotes also. The first functional prototype of the device is ready now, but its maker doesn’t say at the campaign’s Indiegogo site when the final version will ship. The early bird price is $9 and its regular price is $12. Its maker is looking to raise only $500 by mid January.
Once upon a time there were easily a half dozen such devices on the market. There is little about InstaMote that breaks new ground and users of Windows Phone and other smartphone devices that aren’t Android or iOS are out of luck. But the price is right for Android and iOS smartphone owners and should make it worth a try for many of them.