Logitech Unveils Harmony Ultimate Remote with Smartphone Apps

Mike Wheatley

The TV remote refuses to die, and lots would agree that that’s an extremely good thing, given that try as they might, no one has yet been able to come up with a true replacement for our primary TV interaction tool. But while remote controls are not going to be replaced any time soon, there’s absolutely no reason why these dependable little devices can’t be supplemented with more modern tools of the trade like smartphones.

Harmony Ultimate
Logitech unveils Harmony Ultimate remote with smartphone apps

And so enter the Harmony Ultimate, the new universal remote control from Logitech which is the first real effort by anyone to marry the trusty TV controller with the modern smartphone. Fans of Logitech’s Harmony brand will agree that they make some of the best remote controls around, and this latest model comes with all of the usual Logitech hardware, including an array of buttons, a touchscreen, a docking station, and easy set up through the Harmony website interface. Unlike previous versions of the remote however, this one comes with something new – compatibility with the full range of Logitech Harmony smartphone apps, allowing viewers to get by with their iPhones and Android devices when the remote inevitably goes missing down the back of the settee.

Alternatively, those who really do think the remote control is dead and are happy using only their smartphone can check out the Logitech Harmony Smart Control, a new system that allows smartphones to assume the role of primary remote, with a small ‘backup’ controller for whenever it’s the phone’s turn to go AWOL.

Logitech says that both systems should be compatible with just about every TV and home entertainment system around, including consoles like the PS3 (but not the Xbox, we should note). Using your home’s Wi-Fi and IR blaster, it’s possible to control just about every connected device in your home, even if they’ve temporarily given you the slip.

Another great feature of the new Harmony’s is that the apps come with personalization features, including swipe gestures and icons to quickly access your favorite channels. Logitech says that both systems should hit the shops sometime this May, with the Harmony Ultimate expected to cost around $349 (£227) and the Harmony Smart Control available for around $129 (£84).

Source: Logitech blog