Harmony remote controls, once nothing more than just universal clickers, will soon play an important role in home automation, as Logitech has just launched a few new products with those abilities.
First showcased in June 2013, Logitech’s Ultimate Hub now becomes essential for smart homes. Its functionality was upgraded and was launched under a new name – Harmony Home Hub – along with a couple of new Harmony Living Home remote controls.
The previous generation of Harmony remotes were only compatible with Philips Hue ambient lights and Nest thermostats. Fortunately, the ecosystem was expanded to include smart locks, thermostats, and lights made by August, Honeywell, Kwikset, Lutron, PEQ, Schlage, SmartThings, Sylvania, Yale, and Zuli.
Harmony Home Control is a package that contains the Home Hub and a button-only remote, while the Ultimate Home bundle includes a fancier clicker.
It should be noted that the former can control up to 8 devices, while the latter can be used for up to 15 devices. The current ecosystem includes 270,000 devices, which was inconceivable with regular universal remote controls. A list of the compatible devices can be found here.
The hub features RF, IR, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity, so it’s basically impossible for it not to be able to control a device.
The previous version of the hub came with a companion app that was available on iOS and Android. Since that’s essential for controlling a smart home, Logitech didn’t give up on that idea.
Harmony’s new Android app features a new interface in order to better accommodate the new functionality of the hub.
Mind you, the new Harmony remote controls retain the functionality of the old ones, so you’ll still be able to control your home theater with one of these.
Overall, the new Logitech Harmony remotes look like the ultimate tools for home-entertainment and home-automation. The improvements are notable and make Logitech a pioneer in this field, with little to no chances for the competition.
The Harmony Home Hub costs $99 and can be purchased as a stand-alone products, while the Home Control and Ultimate Home packages will be available for $149.99 and $349.99, respectively. These prices might look a bit steep, but considering the great number of devices that can be controlled and the (hopefully) long life of the products themselves, they definitely look like a good investment.
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