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Touchscreen universal remotes have long been a popular way to turn a mass of button-covered remotes into a single, customizable unit, but these days the logical next step is to use the touchscreen device we already have – the iPhone. Harmony made the transition last year with the Ultimate Hub, and Philips is now following suit with the $50 Pronto Peel, going on sale in January.

Pronto, the latest device in connected home entertainment, together with the Peel Smart Remote app, turns your iPhone into a personalized universal remote control, completely changing the way viewers consume entertainment. Pronto allows you to control your entertainment devices, TVs, set-top boxes, DVDs and Blu-ray players, all from the iPhone already in your hand. Say goodbye to switching between standard remotes.

As with the Harmony Ultimate Hub, it works by turning wifi (Harmony) or Bluetooth (Pronto) signals from your iPhone into the correct infrared signals for your device … 

The Peel Smart Remote app also serves as a TV guide. Tell it your favorite channels, shows and genres, and it will offer up personalized viewing reocmmendations – as well as telling you which shows are trending on Twitter.

The device is compatible with all iPhones equipped with Bluetooth LE – namely the iPhone 4s and later. More details will be available later from a dedicated website.

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