The iPhone and iPad lends themselves perfectly to use as cool universal remote controls, but thanks to their lack of infrared sensors, it was never going to be a standard feature. However, a legion of aftermarket manufacturers have come up with ingenious ways of getting around this problem; the latest of which is the VooMote Zapper.
Unlike the recently announced Logitech Harmony Link, the VooMote Zapper goes down the tried and tested route of adding a infrared sensor to your Apple device, in the form of a small dongle — the size of a paperclip, apparently — which plugs into the dock connector. With the help of a free-to-download app from the App Store, you’ll be able to control a wide variety of home theater and audio equipment.
The Zapper is powered through the dock connector too, plus for extra convenience has a total of four IR sensors, meaning it won’t be necessary to point it in the exact direction of the device you want to control. The app is completely customizable, with the ability to program multiple room setups, macros for often used functions, gestures and in a future update, Twitter and Facebook integration too.
The dongle is compatible with iOS 5 on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It will initially be sold for $69.99 on its own, but in January 2012 you’ll be able to buy a case to match the Zapper too. Available in a range of colors and including the Zapper itself, the iPhone case will be priced at $79.99, while the iPad version will cost $89.99.