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remotely control macMost MUO readers are probably too young to remember the television commercial for a device called Clap-On/Clap-Off, in which an elderly woman is shown lying in bed, and before she gets ready to fall asleep, she claps her hands a couple of times and her side table lamp shuts off.

In this day and age, that doesn’t sound too techie, but if you want to bring that same technology to your Mac computer, you can with iClapper Pro. The app costs $2.99, but a free version will be released in a few weeks.

How It Works

Basically you set up iClapper by assigning an action that will be executed when you trigger it by clapping your hands. For example, a single clap can cause iTunes to play or pause.

remotely control mac

A double-clap could be used to put your computer to sleep. You can even set up a 5-claps trigger to say quit an assigned application. iClapper might not work the first time you use it, but if you follow the instructions and set it up right, it should perform okay.

iClapper Setup

After you download the app from the App Store, a tutorial will pop up when you launch the application. However, the tutorial blocks users from accessing the Preferences window of the app. Not a problem, you can use the following instructions here.

To use the app, your Mac of course will need a sound input device, such as the internal microphone. After you launch the app, you can access it from the menu bar. Click on it and select Preferences in the drop-down menu. Be sure your input mic is selected in the Input Device section.

remote control hands

You’ll probably want to try out the app right away, so go ahead; but to get the best recognition results, you need to calibrate the app for your personal clapping sounds.

Click on the Calibration section and select the + button. Clap your hand once and wait for the app to recognize the sound. Do it a few more times for good measure.

remote control hands

Now head over to the Actions sections and see what actions iClipper can perform by default. Notice you can click on an Action and change it. For example, you might want to change the Single Clap trigger to execute the Start Screensaver action.

remote control hands

When you clap and try to trigger an action, wait a few seconds to see what happens. Don’t keep clapping. If you’re running Growl on your Mac, you might get a notification that iClapper has recognized your clap.

control mac with hands

Adding Actions

iClapper only includes six default triggers. To add more, you will need to use AppleScript scripts. To add a script, click the + button in the Actions section. Select a Trigger for it. Under the Action column, select the default action and choose New Action from the drop-down menu. Then add the script.

For instance, if you want download a favorite website with a double-clap, add the code as it appears in the screenshot below. Replace the URL in the quotation marks with your URL. Run the script to make sure it works, and then save your action.

remotely control mac

If you don’t know anything about AppleScripting, check my introduction to the subject here Learn to Automate Your Mac with AppleScript [Part 1: Introduction] Learn to Automate Your Mac with AppleScript [Part 1: Introduction] Read More . A Google search for basic AppleScript scripts should reveal even more ideas.

I haven’t run into any problems with iClipper so far, but I do recommend to the developer that he designs a better looking menu bar icon – something more subtle and Apple-like.

My son gets a kick out of using iClapper on his Mac. Let us know what you think of the application.

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  1. Sohel Zaman
    July 17, 2012 at 2:53 am

    Simply stunning.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      July 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Sohel, glad you like it.

  2. Shyam Sundar
    June 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Sounds really exciting! But I would first like to try out the free version before paying for this app!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      I agree. That's the big drawback for developers who post apps on the Mac App Store–there's opportunity to test out a program and see how it runs on your own computer.

  3. iClapper dev
    June 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for this review.

    We have already prepared an update that contains bugfixes, UI improvements (yes, we have changed the menu-bar icon) and new default actions. But Apple review team works very slow now. Hope to release it soon.

    Free version developing is in progress, right.
    We appretiate your feedback.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Thanks for letting us know about your upgrades, and advance type work you're doing.

  4. Bakari Chavanu
    June 26, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Yeah, Josh, maybe one day all we have to do is just look at our computer and blink to make it do something. I'm joking, but it's technology like this that shows there's hardly no limit to where technology can go.

    • Lars
      June 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      At one time in the mid to late 1980's there was a headband/forehead mouse for the Mac that tracked your eye movements and moved the pointer on the Mac. Actually, I think there are various versions of it still around.

      • Bakari Chavanu
        June 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        Lars, I'm not the least bit surprised. I need to look that up and find out more. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Bakari Chavanu
    June 26, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Thanks, Mohamed.

  6. Mohamed Asmall
    June 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm