The iPhone and iPod Touch would make great universal remotes, except for their sad lack of built-in infrared functionality. There’s more than a few third-parties who will add the functionality to your iOS device for a price, but these usually involve bulky cases or easy-to-lose dongles.
That’s why I like GEAR4’s solution so much. Called the Unity Remote, it’s an infrared hub that talks to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad via Bluetooth through a free to download app. You place it anywhere, and when you send it a command from your device, it uses five infrared emitters to blast out the appropriate signals to any home theater device within its 360 degree line of site.
Very cool. It will be available in October, and it looks like it’ll sell for $99.