Smartphones Are Not Just for Calling, Texting; Also a Control for TVs, Video Capture, Cars

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By Vittorio Hernandez | December 3, 2012 10:55 AM EST

Several smartphone units are now capable of controlling other devices such as TVs, cable boxes and Blu Ray disc players. Usually, smartphones have built-in applications to perform such a task, but in some cases, applications can fill in and only require wireless connection to execute the task.

Device control is not anymore limited to entertainment units, cars and drones are using wireless technology to allow control by the user using smartphone devices, and even better, some of them can captures images and videos while moving.

AR Drone 2.0 Parrot

This is a flying drone which can be controlled via wireless connection using a downloadable free application from Apple Store or Google Play. The device is controlled and viewed directly from the smartphone. It is a piloting experience for the user. The drone follows tilting, direction control, camera switching, flight recording and image capture.

The drone has 720p 30fps HD camera, wide angle lenses, H264 encoding base profile, low latency streaming, video storage on the fly, jpeg photo codec, predefined autopilot modes for video recording (coming soon), 1GHz of processor, 1GB RAM, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, ultrasound sensors, QVGA camera for ground speed measurement, robust structure, and premium design for great maneouverability.

DSLR Camera

Smartphones can now control digital cameras like the Nikon D3100, one of the DSLR cameras popular among newbies investing in premium digital cameras. The user only needs two things. First is to download an application from Apple Store or Google Play called TriggerTrap, and second is to purchase a TriggerTrap Mobile Dongle Kit which includes the dongle and connection cable. The mobile app allows to user to trigger video recording and image capturing and access camera settings as if holding the real device.

Samsung SmartCam

CCTV cameras are used to basically secure areas by monitoring waypoints and entrances from burglars and trespassers. Surveillance cameras are traditionally installed on ceilings with cables connected to the router and then to the monitor. Today, security cameras such as Samsung SmartCam made installation easier. All it takes is a set consisting one router with WPS (Wireless Protected Setup) support, one SmartCam unit, and a smartphone for monitoring, plus the SmartCam application available in Apple Store and Google Play. Another use for this technology is baby monitoring which allows the parents to watch TV or do other tasks while in their bedroom while still overseeing the movements of their infant in another room.

Cars and iPhone

The future of cars in driving will change sooner than expected as developments are happening in Germany for iPhone to control a car.

Autonomos Labs in Germany is currently engaged in developing and design with Appirion UG in the creation of the anticipated iDriver. The application will control a vehicle remotely using the iPhone. As of now, iDriver is running in iPhone 3GS with easy-to-use touch interface, built-in GPS and acceleration sensors. The application is able to control the main components of Spirit of Berlin, the vehicle which enables the user to drive the car James Bond-style with its mobile phone while being in, outside or on top of the car. At the same time, the phone is transmitting the control input to the onboard computer and live video feed from the car's built-in camera to enhance driving experience.

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