Logitech enters home automation space with Harmony Living Home lineBy Shawn Knight
Logitech has officially entered the home automation space. The peripheral company hasn't created a smart thermostat or Wi-Fi connected light bulb. Instead, they're aiming to allow users to control the connected devices they already own to create a seamless experience across all home automation equipment.
Home automation has come a long way in a relatively short period of time but with so many different companies and standards jockeying for control, what you ultimately end up with is a fragmented ecosystem. Or in other words, you need a different app to control each aspect of your smart home.
Logitech's new Harmony Living Home line brings control of all of these devices to a platform that many are already familiar with: the Harmony home entertainment remote. The system uses a central hub, the Harmony Home Hub, to talk to smart devices via RF, IR, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The $100 hub can be used alone with an Android / iOS app or it can be used in conjunction with one of two new Harmony remotes.
For $150, you can add a button-only remote to the mix (the kit includes the remote and the above mentioned hub). This remote can be used to interact with the hub as well as up to eight entertainment devices just like existing Harmony remotes.
The top-of-the-line package includes the hub and Logitech's higher-end remote that features a 2.4-inch color touchscreen with gesture controls and additional programmability (it can control up to 15 entertainment devices). Expect to pay $350 for this package.
It's worth pointing out that the remotes have full access to Logitech's database of more than 270,000 compatible entertainment devices, just like other Harmony remotes. On the home automation end, Logitech said their system can control 6,000 devices right now but more are being added to the list.
Home automation seems like the perfect fit and the obvious progression for Logitech's Harmony line. Look for the new line to hit retail later this month.