Hands on with the latest Griffin App Powered Accessories gear

Griffin were kind enough to invite us down to a space-age camper van in Central London to play with their latest and greatest App Powered Accessories range and nibble on a doughnut. How could we say no?


Our inner child was delighted to play with the Crayola Colour Studio HD, that leveraged hundreds of pounds worth of cutting edge technology to replicate scribbling with crayon. And it was totally worth it. A Griffin rep patiently explain all the subtleties of the app to me, subtleties that were totally lost as I was hard a work colouring in a monster and some curtains. It’s incredibly engrossing and with the well-designed iMarker digital stylus, you can easily forget you aren’t colouring in with a conventional crayon and just focus on enjoying the experience. iMarker safely interacts with iPad’s Multi-Touch display, allowing the ColorStudio HD app to differentiate between the child’s input (fingers, swipes, etc.) and the iMarker automatically. Of course they bring a little more to the table than simply colouring in and in ColourStudio HD you can create pages that move and react as they colour; combining custom-produced pictures, animations, music, sound effects and high quality special effects.

Our inner middle age man was delighted by the sensible remote control solution the Beacon Universal Remote. Griffin has partnered with software developer Dijit to make an iOS Universal Remote Control app, enabling fingertip control of your entire entertainment system, thanks to hardware and app integration from Griffin and Dijit. The Dijit app uses a constantly updated device code library to make setting up controls for your TV, set-top box, sound system, media players and more simple and intuitive and for components not yet included in Dijit’s library, the app also includes an integrated learning feature. We were a little disappointed that the iPad app was simply an iPhone app scaled up, but “they are working on it”.


Best of all, our outer child was ebullient to play with the Helo TC, a iOS controlled helicopter. Charged via the magic of USB, the Helo TC is navigated by a flight deck module that slots into your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and transmits infrared signals to the helicopter giving you total flying control. There are two flight modes available, you can use the Multi-Touch display to control the Helo TC’s throttle and flight controlled joystick or Helo TC’s Tilt-to-Fly, which uses the iOS device’s accelerometers to control the helicopter’s flight.

We were crest-fallen told have the flight desk, which feels nice and chunky, placed in our hands, only to be told that we had a flightless prototype in our hands. However our spirits perked up again when they told us the prototype was the only one in the UK and the dinky little helicopter we’d had our grubby mitts all over was worth £10,000. The actual version will be ready for Christmas and will sell for much, much less.

Beacon Universal Remote is available this month from Apple stores nationwide and online for £54.99.

Crayola ColorStudio HD, £24.99, from Apple, includes Crayola iMarker digital stylus (AA batteries included), a free download of the ColorStudio HD App, periodic content updates, and built-in user tutorials.

TC Helo will be available in time for Christmas and can be yours for under £40.

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