Use your smartphone to control more than just your apps

By on December 15, 2015

Smartphones seem to be growing more and more powerful every year - it’s almost as if they’ve become the primary tool that we use to run our lives.  But what if they could be used to control other objects, like televisions, gaming consoles, smart home appliances or even cars? Could it soon be possible to turn our phones into truly universal remote controls of everything around us?

There’s a massive amount of processing power packed into a mobile device –you’re carrying around a mini computer capable of much more than enabling you to talk, text and tweet. With the large amount of available apps, we’re already using our phones in a number of ways that simply wouldn’t have occurred to Alexander Graham Bell – including as a remote control.

To become a remote control, all your phone needs is an infrared blaster. Coupled with the many apps on the market, the blaster turns a smartphone into the only device you need to control your television, DVD player or gaming console. Imagine with just your phone in hand you can navigate and control your entire home theatre to get the best experience.

Remote control of cool gadgets is a topic all of its own.  And while we’ve all seen remote control toy cars, can you fathom controlling a real one? Jaguar Land Rover demonstrated a prototype in the summer, showing how the vehicle could be ‘driven’ remotely via smartphone  a la James Bond. The app includes control of steering, braking and accelerating, so a driver could remotely reverse the car out of a tight parking spot or manoeuvre it over difficult terrain. 

We’re becoming increasingly used to remotely monitoring our homes with webcams and home security systems that connect to our mobile devices, but with a smart lock, you can go a step further. A smart lock enables your smartphone to remotely control who is allowed into your home or office. You can create virtual keys, allowing access at precise times to authorized individuals, and delete guest access at the touch of a button from wherever you are, as long you have your phone. Verizon offers a number of smart home options to help you automate your home.

There are many apps related to health and wellbeing, and remote controls have a place here, too. The miniTek® Remote app enables hearing aids to connect to the whole range of audio – music players, games consoles, televisions and of course, mobile devices. This kind of app is particularly useful for children and young adults who may be more self-conscious about wearing one.