Back, in July, I wrote about Peel, a software-and-hardware system that turns an iPhone or iPod Touch into a slick universal TV remote. It’s neat. But it costs $99.95, and involves two doohickeys–one that you plug into your router, and one that sits near your TV.
Ryz Media’s BlinQ TV has a new twist on the same basic idea–and the most striking difference is the hardware. Instead of routing commands from your iPhone over Wi-Fi into a gizmo like the Peel’s “Fruit” and then into the TV via infrared, BlinQ gives you a lollipop-shaped IR blaster that plugs into the phone’s headphone jack and lets you control a TV, set-top box, and other living-room devices with no intermediary hardware. It costs one-tenth as much as Peel: $9.99.