Philips Releases Universal Remote Control App
Royal Philips Electronics has released the ProntoLite, an application that turns a Palm OS handheld into a universal remote control. Users can configure their handhelds to control up to 10 devices, such as TVs, VCRs, CD players, DVD players or set-top boxes. It is a "learning" remote, which means the user needs their current remote to train the application which infrared signals to send. ProntoLite is available now for $20.
The company makes the Philips Pronto line of display-centric remote controls. These are typically used to control complex home theatre systems with multiple components.
Of course, this isn't the first Palm OS application to do this. OmniRemote has been available for years. And some Sony models come bundled with with remote-control software.
How far a handheld's infrared signals reach varies from handheld to handheld. Pacific Neo-Tek, maker of OmniRemote, did a study on the range of the IR ports on various handheld models. According to it, some models have a truly impressive range, with the m500 and m505 topping out at 50 feet.
I realize this isn't an earth-shattering announcement but, what can I say, its a slow news day. -Ed
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