Meet the Klikr, a Bluetooth-Enabled Box that Turns your Phone into a TV Remote
No IR blaster? No problem.
Infrared blasters are devices that enable you to emulate consumer remote controls for home theater use. The inclusion of such a device is not widely advertised, but it can be a useful feature to have when you would rather sit on your bum and control your TV via smartphone rather than getting up to find the remote.
Chromecast owners who don’t own a TV with HDMI-CEC would especially find an IR blaster on their device to be a useful addition, as they will often find themselves juggling both their phone and their remote in order to turn their TV on/off. There are many users who would find an IR blaster to be a welcome addition to their phone, but unfortunately many phones lack this feature. Some Google Nexus owners, in particular, find themselves envying other users who have this feature, but short of buying a new phone there isn’t much they can do. Thankfully, a new, relatively unheard of device called the Klikr aims to bring this feature to every smartphone.
Meet the Klikr
Klikr is a tiny, bluetooth 4.0 enabled box that sits on or near your TV or other device. It enables your smartphone to control your TV by relaying commands sent from the accompanying Klikr app to the Klikr device, which includes an IR blaster that beams the signal to your TV. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. All you need to do is teach the device to emulate your remote control by either selecting from a database curated in the app or calibrating it by going through a few button presses on your remote. After that, you’re ready to go.
The app itself is rather simple, and features all of the buttons you would typically need to control your TV. You can change the volume, change the channels, power on/off the device, change inputs, open the TV menu, return to the previous channel, and more. The app even offers the ability to voice control your TV if you so desire. Keep in mind, though, that the buttons on this app depend entirely on what IR remote you are emulating, so if you’re using it to control your thermostat you’ll have buttons for climate control instead.
If you own multiple Klikrs, you can swipe left/right to switch between all of the remotes you’ve set up inside the app. Once you’ve got your Klikr setup ready to go, you can even share your configuration using a QR code so you won’t have to go through the setup process on any other device you own. Your configurations are automatically uploaded onto the cloud which can be useful for serial ROM flashers who might have forgotten to back-up the app’s data that one time. Finally, the app boasts the ability to automatically pause/resume play on devices when you receive a phone call. Automation enthusiasts who have dabbled in Tasker and AutoInput are probably already thinking of additional ways they can enhance this smartphone IR integration.
Is it the Stuff of Dreams?
All of this sounds good in theory, but I’m sure many of you are wondering if it works and if it’s actually available. You’ll be pleased to know that yes, indeed it does work. The company showed off a prototype of its latest product at this year’s CES and I had the opportunity to get a brief demo of it in action.
“Awesome! How much does it cost?” This little box will set you back $22. Not too shabby if you consider how much your TV and smartphone cost, but remember that this device is really just for convenience. It’s certainly not something you need but it would be nice to have, no? Unfortunately, the device is only available for pre-order at this time. The company went through a successful crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter a few months back, and have promised to ship devices to their backers soon.
We’ve seen many unfulfilled promises made on Kickstarter before, but we at least have some faith in the product given the fact that there’s a functional version and application. Keep a look out for this product to hit the online market soon, and grab one if you think the lack of an IR blaster on your Nexus is holding it back. We’ll keep you updated on the status of this project as time goes on.