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How to Check the Power Status of Remote Control Batteries with your Smartphone


Earlier today I published an infographics on things you can do with your smartphone but I didn’t mention the possibility of checking the status of your television/electronics remote control battery with your smartphone.

Of course, in the modern technology it is no longer a question of ‘what you can do’ with your smartphone, it is now a question of ‘what you can’t do ‘ with your smartphone.

The latest discovery has revealed that you can check the power status of your TV set or home theater remote control with your smartphone. This is possible because most standard remote controls send signals to your home theater gear using a beam of infrared light, which a sensor on your hardware picks up. The beam of course is invisible to the human eyes, however, never neglect the power of your smartphone’s Camera! If your remote control start behaving in a funny way, you can easily use your phone to check if your remote batteries need refreshments.

Checking your Battery Power Status

To check your battery status, simply wake your smartphone and launch the Camera application. Next, switch to the front-facing camera, point the remote at the camera, and press any button on the remote.

If the remote is working properly, you should see a flicker of light come from the IR blaster as viewed through your phone’s screen that looks something that this:

If you don’t see the flicker from the IR blaster, or perhaps just a very, very dim flicker, you probably need to change the remote’s batteries. (And if new batteries don’t help, you probably need to replace your remote. Sorry.)

Of course, this trick isn’t limited to your smartphone’s camera; many digital cameras can see infrared light, despite having filters to tune it out. So if all you have at your disposal is your laptop’s built-in webcam, you may have everything you need.

Image Credit: TechHive

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Ebenezer Obasi

Senior executive editor at EwtNet
A web developer, IT undergrad, terrible entrepreneur, internet freak and a man of a few other incongruous talents, Ebenezer has been writing on technology since 2012, and plans to do so until a few days before his ultimate fate: cryogenic preservation. If resurrected, he is likely to go back to writing on technology.

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