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New App Lets Mobile Devices, Tablets Become Universal Remote Controls

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New Michigan-developed software now enables you to control your complete home entertainment system right from your favorite handheld device.

The software, called iRule, provides a customizable universal remote that can be run directly from your touchscreen Apple device (and soon on Android smartphones or tablets). Using a specially designed app, iRule connects to and controls all home entertainment equipment —  TVs, DVD and Blu Ray players, video games, audio systems — even home lighting and security, all within a simple interface that can be personalized with users’ preferences.

The system uses software downloaded to the phone and hardware that sits among the devices it will be controlling. No actual hardware is attached to the phone — all communication is done through Wi-Fi.

iRule was created by former automotive engineer Itai Ben-Gal when he was looking for an easier way to control his home theater system. It offers a solution to accommodate many components and eliminate the clutter caused by multiple remotes with limited uses.

“iRule is a game-changer for those looking to simplify their home entertainment experience while avoiding the complex and costly remote systems that can often run hundreds and even thousands of dollars,” said Ben-Gal. “Our product takes advantage of existing technology in our customers’ smartphones and tablets to make an often intimidating product — a custom remote system — an easy reality they can install themselves.”

iRule is a cloud-based software solution coupled with simple hardware which controls any infrared, RS232 or Ethernet-enabled audio and video equipment, making it compatible with nearly any system or combination of components. A fully customizable interface allows users to simplify controls and personalize menus to their preferences. iRule is also easily updated to control additional components or to migrate to the latest versions of smartphones and tablets, making it the last remote you’ll ever need.

iRule software is available through Apple’s App Store. The iRule gateway package hardware, available at www.iRuleAtHome.com, is $150. The company has already sold thousands of units in 17 countries via word-of-mouth among early adopters, home theater professionals and online enthusiast forums.

“Your most-watched channels, movies, and entertainment are available at the swipe of a finger, all selected by the user from the iRule menu,” said Ben-Gal.

The menu can also be programmed to turn on several devices at once.

“Say you want to watch a show on your DVR. Select that show’s icon and on turns your TV, surround sound and DVR, even adjusting the volume to pre-set levels and dim the lights. No searching or fumbling with several remotes,” Ben-Gal said.

For more information, please visit www.iRuleAtHome.com.

The iRule is an application that transforms the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad into a universal remote control, allowing you of audio video gear simply and reliably. The iRule focuses on a simple user experience that allows non-experts the ability to quickly and easily create a powerful custom remote. Fully upgradeable, iRule can accommodate changes based on your existing needs.

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