Pronto Peel Turns iPhone into a Smart Remote

The Philips Pronto touchscreen remote control revolutionized what a non-professional programmer could do when it came to customizing their personal controller. User groups traded graphics files, created games, and spent hours tweaking and refining their beloved Prontos. But this venerable remote was discontinued by the manufacturer several years ago, and the Pronto name was all but lost, only to be spoken of in hushed and revered tones.

But, good news, Pronto and iOS lovers! The new Pronto Peel is going to bring some of the love and control back in a new form factor and simple to use way!

Instead of creating a new touchscreen remote control, Pronto has instead decided leverage the power of iOS devices – iPhone, iTouch, iPad – and team-up with Peel to use its already popular control app. Peel has over 120 million active users around the world and more than 3,000 devices in its database. The app will also support learning if you have a device that isn’t included. Beyond just controlling your AV system, the Peel app also enables you to browse your local channel guide and more quickly browse and jump to the programming you want to watch. In case you’re worried that it won’t have your channel line-up, Peel has guide info for 110 countries.

The Pronto portion is a piece of hardware about 3.5-inches tall and a little under 2-inches wide that communicates via Bluetooth Smart with any iOS devise running iOS7 or later. It then blasts out commands in a powerful 360-degree infra-red flood designed to control all of the gear in your rack. A hard-wired IR output allows you to connect an emitter to any devices that aren’t within the device’s blast radius.

The Peel app is free for download from iTunes and the Pronto will be available at the end of January for $50. Peel expects to release an optimized version of the app for iPad users in Q2 2015.