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RedEye mini: take control on the road

RedEye mini

RedEye mini offers much of the power of RedEye in a convenient travel size. Use RedEye mini with your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad at home or work, with friends and family, or while traveling for business or pleasure to control your TV, stereo, cable box, DVD player, and many other devices that receive standard (infrared) signals.

Plug RedEye mini into your headphone jack, open the RedEye application and you are ready to go — no batteries required. And because RedEye mini comes backed by our online infrared code database, you can control devices even if you don’t have the original remote at hand.

US$49

Powerful.

Take advantage of activity-based control, customizable button layouts, multi-touch and motion gestures on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to interact with your gear from up to 30 feet away.

Portable.

Complete with its own carrying case, RedEye mini is made for home or travel. No batteries required — RedEye mini plugs into your phone’s headphone jack, leaving the charging connector open.

Affordable.

Get the advanced features at a fraction of the price of other advanced remotes. Bundled with an interactive channel guide and extensive IR code database at no additional cost.

RedEye mini

Overview

By itself, your iPhone does not have the ability to send out the infrared signals used to control most home theater equipment. RedEye mini fills that gap. It runs off of the power your phone delivers through the headphone jack, so RedEye mini is completely portable, requires no batteries, and never needs recharging. Download the RedEye mini app, plug in your RedEye mini, and you are ready to go.

RedEye mini works with the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation iPod touch, iPhone 3G/3GS/4, and iPad. You can buy RedEye mini through our online store and from select retailers.

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How Does It Work?

Please excuse us for a minute while we geek out a bit about RedEye mini.

More Than Just Audio Files and an LED

From the time that we announced the RedEye mini there has been a lot of speculation as to how it works, with the most popular assumption being that we stuck an infrared LED or two on the end of a headphone jack and play audio files to make the LED flash. While it is possible to fashion a remote control of sorts in this manner, there are some fundamental limits to this approach:

  1. Audio files can approximate infrared control signals well enough to control many but not all common home theater devices.
  2. Transmission range using only the power of the headphone jack in this manner is relatively short.

In other words, while it is possible to create a rudimentary infrared adapter using just a headphone jack, a couple of LEDs, and some software, the results are less than satisfying and far from “universal.” In order to make the RedEye mini a viable commercial product, we had to come up with an alternative approach to overcoming these issues.

A Tiny Modem

Sound waves

The first thing we tackled was the problem of faithfully reproducing infrared signals to control most any home theater device on the market. With very few exceptions, infrared remote controls use carrier frequencies between 20kHz and 60kHz, with the majority operating at around 38kHz. By contrast, audio playback through the headphone jack of a modern MP3 player tops out at around 20kHz. Although that may seem good enough, the Nyquist theorem states that in order to faithfully capture and reproduce a signal we need to operate at more than twice the frequency — or 40kHz to 120kHz. Since these frequencies are beyond the capability of the headphone jack, we needed to find another solution.

In order to reproduce these higher frequencies, we put a microprocessor into the RedEye mini. The mini’s microprocessor has no problems keeping up with normal infrared control frequencies, but the question was how to tell the microprocessor what signals to send. To accomplish this we turned the headphone jack into a small modem. We can send signals up to the mini’s processor through the left and right channels, and the processor can respond over the microphone line. Thankfully iOS gives us fine-grained control over audio playback and recording so we didn’t have to worry about keeping up on that side.

Power Harvesting

Harvest field

Quick: what do hybrid cars, tidal power turbines, and RedEye mini have in common? The answer is that all three use a technique called power harvesting to capture and store energy. Hybrid cars harvest power from braking, tidal power turbines harvest power from the tides, and RedEye mini harvests power from the communication signals sent over the headphone jack modem. We use some of this power to run the microprocessor, but most of it is stored in a pair of rather large capacitors that act like small batteries to give RedEye mini that extra kick when transmitting an infrared signal. By tuning the frequency at which the modem operates, the size of the capacitors, and the way we pulse the LED, we were able to give RedEye mini a substantial range boost over what we could get from the headphone jack alone.

What does all this mean for you? Simply that a lot of engineering went into RedEye mini so that you can get the most out of it.

Software

RedEye mini now has its own, dedicated application so that you can get up and running with a basic setup quickly. Of course if you ever want the advanced, activity-based functionality of our original RedEye app, it’s one free download away. The following outlines some of the unique features of our dedicated mini app. You can also read more about our full RedEye app.

  • Fast setup


    Plug in your mini, download codes for your TV and you are ready to go. RedEye automatically creates a button layout for you so that you can get right down to controlling your gear. Perfect when you want to change the channel on that set in the bar.
  • Integrated channel guide


    RedEye mini is by far the most cost-effective remote control solution that includes a channel guide. The comprehensive guide covers cable, satellite, and over-the-air broadcasts in Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with more countries coming soon. With the channel guide you no longer need to take up the space on your main screen while you decide what to watch next. It is also easy to filter the list based on your favorite channels so that you don’t have to scroll through dozens of screens just to find what you want.
  • Online infrared code database


    Sure, RedEye can learn commands from your existing remote controls, but who wants to do that? Our software is backed by an online database of 85,000 infrared codes covering over 1,600 device manufacturers, so there’s a good chance we have what you need. And because the database is stored on a web server rather than on your phone or the RedEye hardware, you get updates to the database as soon as they are available — no need to wait for the next software release. You can even download over the 3G network while you are on the go.
    • Quick launch


      You want to be able to pick up your remote control and use it right away. If your remote is an app on your phone, then it has to launch fast and put you in the driver’s seat immediately. RedEye is optimized to launch quickly and to bring you right to the activity in progress. And now if you are using iOS 4 on a device that supports multi-tasking it’s even faster than before.
    • Device pages


      Flip through device remotes just as you flip through app pages on your home screen. Or double tap on the device tab to jump to a list so that you can get to the one you want straight away.
    • Multitasking


      Beginning with version 1.2.0, RedEye fully supports iOS 4 multitasking, which means that you can get back to controlling your activities even faster than before.
    • Retina display support


      RedEye now provides high resolution button images so that everything looks crisp and clear on your new iPhone 4.
    • Full-screen tablet support


      The RedEye app now runs full screen on both iPhone and iPad. On your iPad, RedEye works in both landscape and portrait orientations, and offers full support for multi-tasking. In landscape orientation, you can preview a full hour of TV programming information right alongside your current activity controls.

    Technical Specifications

    RedEye package

    Includes

    • “RedEye mini” universal remote adapter
    • Carrying case with keychain

    Capabilities

    • Remotely control equipment up to 30 feet away
    • Integrated infrared learning sensor
    • Storage capacity limited only by the amount of memory available on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

    Requirements

    • iOS device (except original iPhone and 1st generation iPod touch) running v3.0 or later
    • RedEye software application (available as a free download from iTunes)

    Supports

    • Virtually all home entertainment devices with infrared capabilities. (Infrared transmission and learning between 20kHz and 60kHz.)

    Device Compatibility

    • iPod touch (2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations)
    • iPhone 3G/3GS/4
    • iPad, iPad 2

    Getting Started

    Getting Started

    From unboxing to controlling your home theater, configuration and setup of your RedEye mini takes about 15-20 minutes. This video takes you through the basic steps so that you can be up and running quickly.

    Of course there is much more to the RedEye mini than what you see here. For more information, please check out the RedEye User Manual, or read about our recent software releases.