iRig Blue Turn is a battery-powered Bluetooth device that turns pages on my Mac or iOS device. Designed with musicians in mind it sits on the floor with two large arrow buttons, Up and Down. These are clearly backlit, which allows easy control by foot in low light to flip silently through set lists or music scores completely hands-free. This is a seriously big deal for musicians who have been turning their scores by hand during practice or performance.
The sturdy plastic unit is powered by two standard AAA batteries (included) and uses the Bluetooth LE (low-energy) specification for longer battery life. It can be set at start-up in any of three modes: page turning on an iOS device, page turning on a Mac, and page turning left and right.
Blue Turn can be purchased individually or as part of a handy package for musos, which includes an iKlip Xpand iPad mount and iKlip Stage music score and set list app. But its uses go way beyond music. I quickly paired it with my iMac and was impressed with the device’s versatility. First up, in Quick Look, that really neat Mac OS feature that first appeared in OS 10.5 but which a surprising number of seasoned Mac users still aren’t aware of. Quick Look lets me flip quickly through a folder of files without actually opening an application. For example, I select the first file in a folder of images, hit the spacebar key and then use Blue Turn to scroll through each image in the folder hands-free. This is really handy because I use Quick Look on a daily basis.
I also do a lot of presentations in Keynote and I love the way Blue Turn flips through my slides leaving my hands completely free to make meaningful gestures. If I wanted to be really sneaky I could hide the device from my audience and change slides apparently by waving at the screen, Steve Jobs style!
I was looking forward to using it at live gigs to scroll through my iTunes repertoire on my 2011 MacBook Pro, but was disappointed to find that Bluetooth LE is not supported on this model. All is not lost, however, as a little research indicates that a cheap Bluetooth dongle will apparently solve the problem.
Although designed in the first instance for musicians, the iRig Blue Turn has myriad uses for people like me who turn pages and scroll through stuff all the time. Well worth considering.