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Use iPhone to check if a remote is working iOS devices
You can use your iPhone to check if a household remote control is working. Start the Camera application, then point the remote in question toward the camera. Be sure the end of the remote with the dark plastic filter is facing the back of the iPhone. If the remote's batteries work, and the remote are functional, you will see a light glow in the picture of the remote in the iPhone's viewfinder window.

This can help narrow down a balky remote as to being broken or just having bad batteries.

This trick isn't unique to iPhones, but takes advantage of the camera's sensitivity to infrared light, and the fact that you never go anywhere without your iPhone!
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Handy for Tech Geeks
Authored by: drmacnut on Aug 04, '08 09:54:58AM

Thanks BrentT for a great hint! This is quite fun to know. I checked an old Apple remote and besides waking up both sleeping Macs near to me (oops!) I could indeed see that it was working fine with the iPhone.

As people often come to tech geeks like all of us OS X hints readers to fix all kinds of gadgets, this hint will come in very useful for checking remotes that kids ran over with their big feet, or those that were dropped just one too many times. Thanks again!

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Use iPhone to check if a remote is working
Authored by: bcometa on Aug 04, '08 10:08:31AM
awesome! a great bit of random knowledge that will surely come in handy some time!


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I use this all the time
Authored by: SOX on Aug 04, '08 12:59:40PM

I use this all the time. For example, when I was heisting the Pink Panther out of the museum the other day, I used my iphone to find all the infra-red trip wires. Now with the worlds largest diamond, this phone has nearly paid for it's ATT service charges for the next year.

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Use iPhone to check if a remote is working
Authored by: allenhuffman on Aug 05, '08 05:37:25AM

Neat. I "discovered" this back around 1988 when I worked for Radio Shack, and we were playing with some laser tag guns and pointing them at a VHS video camera (which my boss was watching from the back room). From then on, we used the cameras to check remotes people brought in. Oddly, when we got an 8mm video camera, it did not work. There was some difference (at least in that brand) that caused it not to show the IR light. I guess from that point on, I forgot about it (maybe incorrectly assuming something had changed in technology and that this trick was VHS-era only). Fun to see a reminder.

-- OS-9 Al

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Use iPhone to check if a remote is working
Authored by: pres on Aug 05, '08 05:19:07PM

This has worked with all the digital cameras we've had for the last x years, as well as my iSight too! I'm sure I look mildly stupid pointing random remotes at my camera, but it's been very handy for troubleshooting.

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