A remote control for your smartphone (and lots of other stuff too)

Qmote links to your smartphone and lets you control it through a series of programmable clicks. It can also adjust your home's temperature and lights.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
2 min read

Now that smartphones are getting to be the size of small TVs, you know what they need? Remote controls -- that's right!

At least that's the thinking from a company called Qblinks, which recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Qmote, a small, water-resistant, metallic device with one button that can act as a remote for your phone.

While a one-button remote might not seem all that useful, you are actually able to program different clicks for different results. Need to get your phone's flashlight on in a hurry? Click once. Want to activate your camera's shutter to take a group selfie? Click twice. Want to pause your Spotify playlist? Use one long click followed by one quick click. And so on and so forth.

Beyond just operating your phone, though, the Qmote is IFTTT compatible. Standing for "If This, Then That," the IFTTT system allows you to build connections between various programs and devices based on certain actions. Because devices like the Nest thermostat and Philips Hue light bulbs are on the platform, you can technically set the Qmote up to control aspects of your home as well.

Additionally, it can act as a slide advancer for presentations on your Mac or Windows computer when you switch it into "presentation" mode. It does that, and all of its other tricks through a Bluetooth connection, which uses such little energy that the inventors of Qmote say you'll get about 60,000 clicks out of the coin-cell battery.

The $15 (about £10, AU$19) early bird special is all gone now -- even with 40 days left in the campaign -- but you can get a Qmote for the slightly increased price of just $19 (about £12.60, AU$24). Devices are expected to ship in May 2015.