I am trying to control multiple devices in a room that all have similar functionality. I'd like them to be accessed by one common remote with a single button for each type of functionality. In other words, this single common remote would be controlling one device at a time.
Imagine having LEDs on different Arduino devices and I can turn on or off each. Having a remote with one button and pointing it at the device you would want to toggle makes it simpler than having a set of buttons on one remote for every device to be controlled.
I'd like to use an IR system for simplicity, which is easy enough to set up. Right now, I'm playing with the Sparkfun IR remote kit (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10783
However, either the sensor is too sensitive or the remote is too powerful because it is very hard to send a signal to one device only. I would like to figure out a way to "directionalize" the sensor so that it is essentially line of sight only.
Is this possible by embedding the sensor at one end a tube of IR absorbing material, if there is a such thing? Or, due to interreflections of the remote control signal within the environment, does the signal always manage to find its way to the sensor? Can I dim the remote instead to only output a weak signal? Lastly, is there a simple solution other than IR that would work better?