First Look: ThinkFlood RedEye Wi-Fi to Infrared Bridge for iPod + iPhone
RedEye ($149) is one of the first actually available accessories capable of combining an App Store application and a Dock Connector accessory to expand the capabilities of an iPod touch or iPhone. The concept: RedEye has both Wi-Fi and Infrared capabilities, and lets you use your iPhone or iPod touch to connect via Wi-Fi and control Infrared devices such as a television, receiver, and DVD player found in the same room with a RedEye unit. Initially, you plug the RedEye dock into the wall, insert the correct Universal Dock Adapter, and then run the RedEye application -- a free download from the App Store. With the dock's purplish blue bottom illuminated to show that the power's on, the app can be used to set up the dock as a standalone device or with your existing 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network, letting you control your AV equipment via Wi-Fi. You can also dock your iPod or iPhone for charging purposes. Thus far, we've played with the "public beta" RedEye app enough to see that it's incredibly unstable and requires a lot of screwing around to set up the dock and the individual devices within a room -- it's nowhere near as straightforward as the Harmony universal remotes we've previously used and enjoyed. ThinkFlood is offering a $30 discount on the unit to people who want to serve as beta testers to help it fix its software, an experiment that we're not enthusiastic about participating in. Perhaps we'll revisit the software when it's out of "beta."