A crowd-funding project on Pozible will get you an IR blaster that plugs into your smartphone’s audio jack.

Hiremote HiRemote adds an IR blaster to just about any smartphone

One of the highlights of the HTC One flagship Android smartphone when it was launched was the presence of an Infrared blaster. While IR had been a mainstay in high-end smartphones and PDAs of old, this feature had been rendered obsolete by the advent of newer technologies like Bluetooth, WiFi and even NFC. Still, IR has its uses, particularly in remotely controlling devices like television sets.

HTC’s implementation of the IR blaster was one-way. Noting that data transmission through IR is notoriously slow and inefficient (it requires line-of-sight), its practical applications today are mostly limited to controlling TV sets, DVRs, cameras and such devices. But not all devices have an IR blaster, which means that even if you can easily find a remote control app for your iPhone or Android smartphone, it’s not guaranteed to work.

HiRemote HiRemote adds an IR blaster to just about any smartphone

A Chinese startup called Jeeqi aims to change this with its HiRemote accessory. Essentially a plug-in device that is inserted into the phone’s 3.5 mm jack, the HiRemote is an IR blaster used to remotely control compatible TVs, cameras and other devices through an app.

The Jeeqi team says that 97 percent of such devices use Infrared for remote control, which makes HiRemote the perfect device for couch potatoes who’d rather not lose just another universal remote in the living room. “It is small, plug in directly to your phone and it will adapts well with all sorts of devices. So you can kick back, relax and enjoy your life without the hassle of remote controls.”

The campaign is running on Pozible, poised to be Asia-Pacific’s Kickstarter. A minimum CNY 39 (about US$10) gets you either the black or white HiRemote, while higher pledge options will get you additional plug-in remotes at discounted prices. Do note that shipping within China is free, although international orders will be charged at least an additional $39 for shipping.

Currently, the project has exceeded its original target of CNY 2,000 (about US$320) and is backed with CNY 18,357 (US$ 2,943) with still 45 days to go. Check out HiRemote on Pozible.