Jan5 | 2011
categories: New | tags: , , , ,

Beacon Universal Remote Control System

I can’t tell you how often my kids run off with the TV remote,  I often end up finding it hidden in their bedrooms or buried underneath the couch. Do you ever lose your remote?

We’ve partnered with software developer Dijit to turn your favorite iOS or smartphone device into a universal remote! How’s that for the perfect solution?

Beacon

Beacon

Universal Remote App

Universal Remote App

Beacon turns an iOS or smartphone device into a handy, easy-to-use remote for home entertainment systems—handy because you always know where it is: your pocket. It lets your iOS or mobile device control every component in your home entertainment system by converting Bluetooth signals from your device to the infrared commands your components are expecting. Beacon pairs your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch) or smartphone with Dijit’s Universal Remote App, putting complete control of your home entertainment center in the palm of your hand. There are no bulky cases or dongles, no messy wires or cables.

Setup and pairing is simple. Paired with Beacon via Bluetooth, your smartphone is just a few taps away from using Dijit’s intuitive Programming Guide. Your Multi-Touch or touch screen display is the remote. You can change channels, volume, input, program your DVR, and lots, lots more.

Never go hunting for your remote again!

Pricing and Availability

Beacon, $79.99, will be available May 2011.

Going to CES?

CES attendees can preview Beacon at the Griffin booth, iLounge Pavillion — North Hall #4727, and in the Dijit booth, iLounge Pavilion — North Hall #4137.

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  • http://www.machoe.com Edu

    Is it possible to pair it with two or more iOS device? It will be a great feature.. :-)

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    You can only pair one device at a time.

    Thanks.

  • Grapes2000

    Does it work with radio frequency signals?

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Full details can be found here: http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/beacon

  • hi

    I’m really excited about the beacon. Just a couple sugestions, if you can make it connect and control a ps3 via bluetooth you will have a home run. just do a google search and see how many people are looking for a bluetooth ps3 remote. Second haveing an option to plug it in so that you never have to wory about batteries would be a great option for those looking to set ut and forget it. Also i hope there will be an option to be able to connect to 2 different units at the same time for multi room control of various av units. Great work cant wait to actually see it in action.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    I’m excited about it too. Thanks.
    These are all great suggestions. I’ll be sure to pass them along.

    Thanks!

  • Patrick

    Will the Beacon be able to use IR Blasters to control multiple devices behind cabinet doors, etc? This is the downside to the RedEye Wifi unit. I agree with the above comment as well about the option to plug it in.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Interesting idea James. I will pass it along. Thanks!

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Beacon needs to be within eyesight of the device it’s controlling. So, I’m afraid it won’t work in the way you’re describing. Thanks.

  • Phil

    Any word on whether or not the unit will be offered with an optional power supply with cord? If it is shipped with battery capability only, does the unit stay on and discoverable all of the time? If not, do you have to go to the device each time you want to use the remote and the device has powered off?

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Hi Phil,

    We found that people didn’t want another wire to deal with, so Beacon is
    battery operated. It is the power button, but when you leave the house, it
    will automatically go into sleep mode.
    We recommend using Beacon with rechargeable batteries.

    Thanks.

  • Rick C.

    Is the release still on schedule for May of 2011?

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Yes, thanks Rick.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Yes, thanks Rick.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks. I will pass it along.

  • Ricardo C. L.

    I noticed you have a video game console category for adding devices. Will you be adding a virtual remote for the Wii?

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    I’m not sure yet. It’s possible if it’s IR.

  • Frank_Crosetti

    Very interesting device. If it will handle my gaggle of Sony products, the cable box and the kids Wii, I’m sold.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    It should handle most IR devices. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    any word on support of multi-room (multi-beacon) control? Also, do you know if the Blutooth is the long-range version?

    thanks
    ken

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    approved

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks for the questions Ken.

    You can only use 1 Beacon with the Dijit app. Beacon’s range is about 30
    feet, line of sight. This means that there needs to be a clear line of sight
    between the Beacon and the component you want to control.

  • Anonymous

    thanks- that would be Class 2 blutooththen- that’s a good range, although for multiroom we’ll need more than one Beacon- add my input for support of this in future versions- looking forward to the release !!

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks Ken.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks Ken.

  • Roy Hagar

     This device has a promised release date of May, 2011.  May is now more than half over….when is the device going to become available?

  • Roy Hagar

     This device has a promised release date of May, 2011.  May is now more than half over….when is the device going to become available?

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Hi Roy,

    It will be available in June. We want it to be 100% when you get it, so
    please allow us a short time more.
    You can sign up and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available here:
    http://www.griffintechnology.com/beacon

    Thanks.

  • Norm Stephens

    I have downloaded the APP on iPhone and although it shows SKY as an optional device, whne you go in to set it up it show the only option as “cable”.  For the UK this functionality is a must.

    Clearly there is no option for PS3 – seems a pretty huge oversight really given the popularity of them – yes I know it uses bluetooth for r/c but so do other things I have.  Not putting bluetooth throughput into something supposedly groundbreaking is plain daft, no?

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks for the feedback Norm. I’ll relay it to our team. 

  • http://twitter.com/tginther Terry Ginther

    Looks like a nice product, except being able to pair with only one iPhone. So, if Beacon is paired with my iPhone and I’m not home, the rest of the family (who also have iPhones) cannot use Beacon unless they remove the pairing to my phone and re-pair with one of theirs – correct? Of course, because I have older teenage kids, they aren’t sitting in front of the TV when I am, so I’ll have to re-pair with my iPhone when I get home…

    Because no one is going to leave an iPhone by the TV as a dedicated controller and an iPhone is a personal device, I feel Beacon will need a way to accommodate multiple iPhones if it is to ultimately be successful.

    Any plans on a Wi-Fi version with multi-iOS pairing capability? Your initial version could be the less expensive version for the single person requiring only a single connection. A more expensive Family version allowing multiple iOS connections would be great! Plus, a Wi-Fi version would work throughout the house and not be limited to Bluetooth range, and an enhanced Dijit could allow one iOS device to select which Beacon(s) it wanted to control.

    I know every product has to start somewhere, and this looks to be a good 1st pass. Hopefully Griffin/Dijit will be able to evolve this for a true flexible home entertainment control system.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Hi Terry. When you (and your device) leave the range of Beacon, your device will automatically be unpaired. When a new device with Dijit installed (that has been previously paired) gets in range, Beacon will automatically pair with it.

    Thanks for the feedback on a Wi-Fi version. I will be sure to pass along your feedback to our product manager. 

  • Jeff

    I have been on the email list and waiting patiently for the Beacon to become available for many months now. I decided to visit the griffin blog to see if there is an updade and i find out that you are sold out even though i never received a notification. Now you are giving me a generic link to an apple store locator. I’ve called my local stores and none of them have heard of it. I’m really looking forward to trying some of these out in my house, but this is a pretty frustrating beginning.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks Daragh. Please know that I am passing along all feedback to our product manager. It’s great to have the comments, so we can use them when considering future iterations of current products or new products altogether.

    Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    There seems to be little thought put into how the Beacon interacts with Apple TV (known on dijit as Apple Medial Player.) Also, it frequently and for no reason disconnects from the controlling device. And the ipad app seems to be just like the iphone. I am surprised after all this time that you have not designed a better ipad app.

  • Rthagar5611

    to hotinhawaii–I use other bluetooth devices and they are extremely vulnerable to interference by several ordinary household appliances:  microwaves completely disrupt their signal, and 8 ghz wireless phones, too.  Make sure the Beacon isn’t placed near either of these.  Bluetooth is great, but not perfect.  Also, if the iPhone or iPad is taken out of range (30 feet, plus or minus, depending on conditions, it will disconnect.  Also, reviews of the Beacon mention how crummy the iPad interface is.  I think Griffin just wanted to get the device out there and planned to upgrade the iPad software later.  Don’t know if the firmware for the Beacon itself is able to be upgraded.  Technically, I think it’s possible using a Bluetooth file protocol, but I’m not sure.  No gadgets are perfect….

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    The iPad version of Dijit will be available this fall. Thanks for the
    feedback, I’ll be sure to pass it along to our development team and to
    Dijit.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, the iPad version will be available this
    fall. We’ll be able to update the firmware on Beacon as well. Cheers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frankhardaway Frank Hardaway

    I know that iLounge gave the Beacon/Dijit combination the same grade as the Unity Remote.  I disagree.  The Dijit application offers features (guide/social media interface…etc) that the Gear4/UnityRemote does not.  This alone makes Beacon/Dijit the superior solution to me.

    I do agree with some of the other posts regarding shortcomings, though, and have some other ideas:

    1) The lack of a power supply is a big buzz kill.
    2) The use of BlueTooth vs. WiFi makes the use of multiple iOS devices cumbersome.  In a family where everyone leans on me to ‘fix it’ when it comes to technical problems, this will surely prove to be a pain.3) Launching the product without sufficient inventory is a bad start.  I’m on the waiting list, too, and have also called every Apple store in my area to no avail.
    4) An optional ceiling-mount or even equipment-facing wall-mount kit would be a huge plus.  I am definitely excited to purchase this solution although I still don’t know where I’m going to put it.
    5) If Wi-Fi were truly integrated into the product, it could enable you to develop a technology to control it from another room – or even away from home altogether.  How truly awesome it would be to log into your device and start downloading a movie from Netflix on your way home!

    All in all, I still can’t wait to get my hands on one of these.

  • Justin

    Dave, how many bluetooth device pairings will the Beacon store?

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks Frank. You raise some interesting points that I will be sure to pass along to our team. I think the mount is a great idea too.

    As far as availability, I apologize for being out of stock and for selling out at some retail locations. Beacon has proved to be a very popular product.

    We’ll have more in stock in the next couple of weeks. Be sure to watch for the email, which I will send you as soon as we have Beacon available again.

    Cheers.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I requested that your answer be added to our Beacon FAQ.

    Here it is: http://www.griffintechnology.com/support/article/how-many-devices-can-i-pair-beacon-and-can-i-switch-between-them

    Cheers!

  • Jcamen

    Please please please add playstation 3 compatibility to Dijit!!

  • BMS

    w/o having IR emitters/bladders being able to be plugged in you’ve lost the entire market of people who have placed their devices in cabinets. This is usually the audience that understands value of your device & wants it. Also, another big supporter of Playstation 3 (PS3). Would be invaluable to control with this device & app. Both of the above are deal breakers. If you are going to make a universal app, the hardware must be universal!!! Thanks for listening.

  • Miketaliefero

    I just bought the device july 9th in Arlington, VA. Because of the mostly negative reviews I went the store to buy the Unity/Gear4 but they did not have it so I settled for the Beacon. Boy am I glad I did! The Griffin Beacon works beautifully and is brilliantly designed.  I am the unofficial Gadget Guru and this device blew me away. I was able put all of my remotes: DirecTV, Samsung TV, AppleTV, Bose Sounddock, Vizio soundbar, VizioTV in basement-all on my Ipad. What’s more the remotes I’ve added automatically showup on both my iphone and my wife’s after you register and login. The calls for external power are just dumb. Why would want wires on anything associated with a “remote” control? Being untethered allows you to take the featherweight Beacon with you from floor to floor in your house. In fact, you could take it to a friend’s house to use if they had the same remotes and allowed access. I also like the custom button feature. This allowed me to add an input button from my DirecTv remote to my Apple TV remote which does not come with such a button. Now I can toggle out of AppleTV without grabbing a different remote. The Netflix feature also works well. Admittedly, I do not have a PS3 so that objection might be valid for those who do. But for the price, it’s a no-brainer to buy at least one. I wish they had a deeper discount for 2-pak/3-pak so you could leave in stationary locations.  Repairing is a minor inconvenience but I do that all the time-comes with the territory when you bluetooth. My compliments to the development team. I will never buy another universal remote.

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Thanks very much Mike. I’m thrilled to hear you’re enjoying Beacon. Cheers.

  • Damien_iso

    Any plans to make it compatible with PS3 and Boxee?
    Thanks

  • http://www.griffintechnology.com/connect Dave Delaney

    Changes and updates are constantly being made to the Dijit app. New devices are being added frequently.
    Thanks.

  • Nate Boykin

    I would buy this device if there were more profiles. My Harmony remote has a profile for the ps3toothfairy which lets me send IR signals to my Playstation 3. This is the only reason I haven’t gone to the Beacon. As soon as I can use it with the PS3 I will be putting it on my list.

  • Anonymous

    Please some kind of PS3 update.  I would guess it would boost sales quite a bit.  As of right now there is not one app in the entire apple app store that works as a remote for the ps3 blu-ray.  Love the product, just sad it’s missing the one thing I was hoping it had.  I’m guessing it wasn’t overlooked in the design and was a cost cut as it was probably too expensive to add hardware/software special for just one device.  I would happily pay $10 extra for this.  Still like the product, could we just get an update on if this is every realistic possibility of happening or not?