A few years ago, I wrote about ZazaRemote transforming your smartphone into a universal IR remote control. ZazaRemote is a hardware and software solution that combines infrared dongles micro USB port or 3.5mm audio plug, and a mobile app that allows you to control all sort of devices (TV, aircon, etc…) from your smartphone.
Over three years later, more and more phones are now deprived from the audio jack, and micro USB ports have given way to USB type C ports, so that solution does not work anymore on newer phones. Some of the recent phones like Xiaomi Mi A1 integrate an IR transmitter, but for others, Zazaremote’s developer (Tiqiaa) has apparently not come up with a USB type C version, but just sells micro USB to USB type C adapters, not the most convenient. Upon further research, I eventually found a USB type C IR transmitter for smartphone sold for about $7 on FastTech.
The brand name is “ROCK”, but they don;t provide that many details about this “USB Type C IR Remote Control Transmitter” except the dimensions (37.5 x 14.5 x 7.1 mm) and weight (9 grams). The form factor is not the most convenient, as I prefer the lower profile USB OTG ZazaRemote dongle.
FastTech did not mention any information about the app to be used, and I could not find ROCK USB type C IR transmitter anywhere else, but noticed that ROCK IR audio jack was listed on Banggood, and linked to Zaza Remote Universal Remote app for Android and iOS. It’s highly likely the USB type C transmitter uses the same app.
Beside the USB type C IR transmitter, the company is also selling a Wi-Fi to IR USB dongle for $10 shipped. The advantage here is that you don’t need to add anything to your phone, but of course you’d need one per room where there are IR controllable appliances. Directionality may be an issue with this type of device, which explains why some others WiFi IR controllers – like Broadlink RM Mini 3 – use an array of IR transmitters to cover all directions.