Review of VooMote Zapper Universal Remote

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If you’re like me and pretty much everyone else these days then you’ve got several remotes for all of your entertainment devices. I’m also sure that you too have lost a remote or two in your time as I’ve done. Having all of these remotes can be complicated and honestly a bit annoying so the thing to do is go buy another remote, a universal one, but that’s just adding another remote to your collection. many people have an iDevice like an iPad, iPod or iPhone these days so instead of buying another remote you can buy what I have today for review which is a small little attachment called the VooMote Zapper. This little gadget about the size of a quarter and just plug right into your iDevice and turns it into a full fledged universal remote. Does it work? Yes. Is it perfect? Almost.

As usual we start off with the packaging. The VooMote Zapper comes in a small plastic box.

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On the back you’ll find the specs and features listed in a fold out section.

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Inside you’ll find a brief instruction manual and a QR Code to help you easily download the needed app.

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The VooMote Zapper is just a very small device that attaches to your iPod or iPhone or even your iPad.

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On the bottom you’ll find the infrared LED array which includes four LEDs for range.

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Specifications:

VooMote Zapper

Product Design  Universal Remote Control for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Say goodbye to the days of switching from app to app or fumbling for the right remote.  The all-in-one VooMote Zapper software and hardware combine all you need for an entire home entertainment experience.
With VooMote Zapper App, you don’t have to sacrifice customization for convenience. Consolidate all your remotes, TV Guide functionality (coming 2012), facebook and twitter (coming 2012) and still define custom remote layouts, programming and much more!

Tech Facts-  VooMote Zapper comes in 8 colors.
VooMote Zapper attaches to the dock connector of your iDevice. It adds infrared functionality to your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad allowing you to control all your electronic devices. It’s as small as a paperclip and fits in every pocket.
VooMote Zapper is compatible with iOS 5.

Range-  VooMote Zapper’s 4 built in IR transmitters guarantee a bullseye every time.
We know you want to be able to sit in your favorite chair hassle-free and have an intuitive remote that reacts faster and better.
Therefore, Zapper has 4 built-in IR transmitters (Mini Blasters) allowing you to tilt, turn and twist your iDevice and never miss a single command.

Setup Wizard- Set up your VooMote Zapper quickly and easily.
Unlike other products with complex instruction manuals and online installation websites, our set up wizard will guide you through the entire set up process in just minutes with no need for any external resources. The software is available as a free App on the Apple App store. The App guides you through the menu seamlessly so that you never get lost.

Room Control-  Your personalized set up for every room.
Room Control allows you to create device bundles in any room of your home. You can personalize your remote by giving each room a name and a matching icon.

Teach-In-  Learn in products with the original remote control
In the event that your product is missing from the database, you can learn it into VooMote Zapper using the original remote control. Point remote toward LED receiver and press the corresponding key that is glowing on the display.

One View-  OneView combines multiple remotes in one layout.
Select the activity you would like to control with a OneView.For example, you can combine both TV and DVD Player remote functionality on one screen. Customize the remote layout by using the drag/drop function.You can place more important buttons on your first screen and easily swipe to the second screen to use other secondary buttons.

One Touch-  Create an entire chain of commands with a single click.
The Zapper allows you to program macros to make your home entertainment even more comfortable. For instance, you can create a button, which turns on your TV, audio device and DVD-Player and then plays your DVD. Each button should be added in the order they should perform. Timing and order will be recorded.

Edit Mode-  Personalize your remote layouts by editing, copying, pasting or deleting buttons.
The edit mode lets you customize all remotes exactly the way you like. It allows you to edit the color, text and position of the buttons as well as delete, copy or paste buttons.

Gestures-  Initiate commands with simple finger movement.
With the Zapper you do not have to take your eyes off the TV for even a second. Gestures allow you to access all core functionality e.g. changing channels, turning up volume or pausing a DVD with a simple finger swipe.

Help-  The help points out vital functions and gives relevant hints.
If you have any questions at any point along the way we are there to help.Simply click on the question mark at the bottom left-hand corner of your screen and the “Help Function” will give you hints about what to do next.

MSRP Price: $69.95

Price $66.76 (from Amazon at time of review)


Here’s the VooMote Zapper next to my iPod Touch 4th Gen for scale:
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Here’s my iPod with the VooMote Zapper attached to it. Yes you use your iPod upside down essentially when you’re using the VooMote Zapper.

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The main thing you’ll need to do is download the app from the Appstore then you’re pretty much ready to go.

When you first start the app up you’ll be greeted with brief introductions to all of the features of the VooMote Zapper:

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Once you’ve read all of that you can get started or you can take the tour which is kind of what I just showed you above. The next screen would be to choose the color of your Zapper, get Support if needed or you can rate the app.

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On the first page you’ll need to create a room, obviously I’d start with the Living Room. You can setup many rooms actually so you can take the VooMote Zapper with you wherever you go, you could even take it to your friends house if you want.

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If you hit the help button a nice diagram or overlay comes up to help you out:

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To get started the first thing I did was find a remote for my Vizio 47” HDTV which is the model SV470XVT. The first thing you’ll need to do is pick the category of the device you want to use and then find the brand which is listed alphabetically.

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The simplest way I found is to use the code scan feature. You turn the TV on then press the volume button until something happens.

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Once it adjusts the volume on your TV you’ll then be given choices as it might find multiple remotes for your device. In my case there was five of them and they all worked, but I had to figure out which one was closest to my original remote and all of its functions.

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The remote isn’t one page, depending on the remote it could be several pages to scroll through for all of the functions.  For my HDTV it was four pages to scroll through and it’s not quite the same as my physical remote is, at least the layout isn’t.  I think they changed the layouts a bit to make it easier to use where they put the most used functions first like power and volume control on the first page, then channel selection on the second page.

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Once completed the TV appears in your ‘room’ and you’re ready to setup the next device.

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Here’s what mine looks like with HDTV, Stereo, Blu-Ray and Cable Box ready to go. You just push what you want and you’re ready to control it.

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Here’s my cable box remote, I have Verizon FIOS and the remote on the iPod is six pages that you’ve got to scroll through. Some of the options you see below are not on my Verizon remote and then there’s some that are missing as well. It’s not perfect but the most commonly used things are there I think, at least those I use the most.

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Then there’s my Blu-Ray player which is a Panasonic DMP-BD655 model. The remote here is five pages to scroll through.

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There’s also a Gesture Mode that allows you to swipe, or double tap or tap and hold for certain functions. All of the remotes core functions are able to accessed this way. I guess it’s nice to be able to do this, instead of looking down you’d just swipe or tap to do what you want to do.

Of course if your remote isn’t in the database you can also teach the VooMote Zapper the functions of your remote, you do this by pointing the remotes at each other and basically following prompts and pushing buttons. It’s fairly easy overall and it’s nice for things that might not be in the database like an off-brand media player.

I should note that even with all of the remote choices, it doesn’t seem like everything is there as would be on my physical remotes. The layouts also seem to be different. The majority of and most used functions are there though, at least that’s what I found for my devices.

You can go to the room view and pick your device or you can go to a sort of overview view and scroll through your devices to pick one.

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Of course if you’re not happy with sliding through remotes and trying to find the right one you can create a custom remote that combines your remotes functions in what they call OneView. For example you could create one ‘remote’ that has the functions for your TV, Blu-ray player and cable box in one. It wouldn’t be everything but it would be the things you use most from each of the devices.  For example I only really use the power, volume and device switching buttons on my audio system and don’t need everything else. On HDTV I only use the power and device or input switching buttons, so I could create a remote that only has those buttons on it to make my life a bit simpler.

Another neat feature is OneTouch which allows you to chain button presses together. For example let’s say I turn my HDTV on, switch to HDMI 1, then my stereo then my cable box. You can program that in as just one button press to make life a little bit easier.

The range seems good, I had no problems controlling my devices from across the room or even in the other room. It’s infrared so of course it’s line of sight

This is a neat little device that’s for sure, and it might be something that I could use often but sadly the battery life on my iPod Touch 4th Gen is horrible, I only get about an hour from it and it’s been that way since I got it. Not sure what the problem is but oh well, I’m accustomed to short battery life on devices as I think most of us are.


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Conclusion:
The VooMote Zapper is one of those products that’s just plain awesome in it’s simplicity and design. It’s very easy to use via the Setup Wizard and if you can’t find what you want or need it can learn what it needs to. Essentially it’s truly  a universal remotes in that it can control pretty much every device even if it isn’t in the database. The product itself seems well made, it is just as small piece of plastic with a connector on it after all, not much too it really. I think anyone with any level of gadget knowledge can pick this up and stat using it quickly and easily. It does have plenty of other features that I think most people will appreciate, just little things to make your life a bit easier.

The remotes I found for my devices weren’t an exact match, but they were close enough that I didn’t miss anything. The one thing I think most people will notice the most is the layout, it’s really nothing like the physical remotes are. I just know by feel on most of my remotes where the buttons are, with a touch screen there’s nothing to feel and things are in different places. Some remotes can get very large, having to scroll through six pages to find the function your need can be slightly annoying at times.

9

 

Pros:
+Easy setup
+Small and unobtrusive
+Tons of features
+More features to come in the future via updates
+Has learning mode

Cons:
-Not all functions available on remotes
-Scanning through several pages of controls can be annoying

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10

To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

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