Griffin adds remote control, Bluetooth audio to iPods, Macs

5.1 surround sound too

Stylish accessory maker Griffin Technology has certainly had a busy week. Not settling for the announcement of two major product launches on Tuesday, it has gone on to unveil three more choice items.

Top of the list is BlueTrip, a wireless iPod-to-hi-fi link that operates over Bluetooth. The $149 package comprises a receiver for the hi-fi end of the link and a plug-on Bluetooth transmitter for the iPod. The receiver provides RCA audio jacks, plus a headphone port and optical interconnects.

Griffin Technology's AirClick, FireWave and BlueTrip
AirClick (left), FireWave (top right), BlueTrip (bottom right)

The upshot: the iPod is the music source and it becomes a mobile remote control too, operating at up to 9m (30ft) from the stereo.

Alternatively, the company will soon offer AirClick, a slightly different PC, Mac and iPod remote control system. This consists of RF wireless - no line of sight needed - remote control and add-on receivers for the portable music player and USB-equipped computers.

For the iPod and iPod Mini, AirClick provides an easy way of controlling the player in situations where it's impractical to fiddle with it - when you're driving, cycling or running, for instance. Griffin will bundle a number of mounts and attachments to fix the remote to dashboards, steering wheels, handlebars etc. Once in place, the remote provides play/pause, track skip and volume controls.

The computer-oriented version will ship with application control software for iTunes, presentation packages, media and DVD playback software and the like. Users can set up links to their preferred apps if they are not included in the pre-set list.

AirClick has a range of up to 18m (60ft) and uses a Bluetooth-style pairing system to allow multiple AirClick links to operate side by side.

Finally, Griffin demoed FireWave, a Firewire-connected add-on 5.1 surround sound module, that allows any modern Mac to host a home theatre system.

The unit is bus-powered, so all you have to do is hook up your speakers. Its software is geared up to take surround sound audio streams from Apple's DVD Player app and games which support the OpenAL audio API. It can also generate 5.1 playback from stereo sources such as iTunes.

Griffin is taking orders for FireWave, AirClick and BlueTrip, but they are not yet ready to ship. AirClick costs $40 for a remote with either a Mac/PC USB adaptor, an iPod add-on or an iPod Mini adaptor, and will ship later this quarter, as will BlueTrip. The latter will cost $150. FireWave will ship in Q2 for $100. ®

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