Turn Your iPhone or BlackBerry Into a Universal Remote Control

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    In a blast of "why didn't anyone think of this before" brilliance, Acoustic Research presents the Zentral, an IR blaster combined with an app to turn your iPhone or BlackBerry into a full-fledged programmable universal remote control.

    You can either aim the small squarish "bridge" IR emitter at your AV stack and download the remote control app from either iTunes or the BlackBerry App World. Once you tell the app what pieces of AV equipment you have (TV, receiver, etc.), you can program all kinds of macros into it. The Bridge transforms the WiFi signal from your phone when you hit a control into an IR signal to your gear. If you can't point the bridge at your equipment stack, you can put it on top of your gear and snake included wired IR emitters to up to three devices.

    The iPhone Zentral will cost $80 and the BlackBerry version $70; both will be available, along with the appropriate apps, in December.

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