Infrared is so 1990’s. I remember IR being a premium feature on my old Nokia phones. Even up to the mid-2000s, my E-series Nokia featured an IR transceiver for data exchange. Well, who would’ve known that IR would be back in fashion? HTC, in introducing its latest flagship HTC One, has included an IR blaster in the phone’s power button. The company is now looking for developers to build apps on this technology with the inclusion of the IR API its OpenSense SDK.
See also: HTC One hands-on – first look!
Out of the box, the HTC One already has all the capabilities of a universal TV remote through Sense TV, which is part of Sense 5. The TV guide is updated with local content for watching and browsing programs. The API lets the phone “learn” key codes from other remote controls. HTC says that the API goes beyond television sets, as the infrared blaster can also be used to control other devices like digital SLR cameras, and the like.
IR is not dead, after all. Granted, infrared does have limitations as compared to other short-range communications technologies like Bluetooth and even Wi-Fi. But given the potential for legacy applications, such as controlling TV sets and photographic equipment, IR may still be relevant, and HTC is making sure the technology still has support from the developer community.
Hey, maybe someone would build an app for communicating with the old-version Furbies, which “talked” with each other through infrared.