Logitech Harmony Ultimate And Smart Control: A Smart Home Gateway

In these early days of smart-home technology, it can be intimidating to look into replacing all your existing appliances with new smart TVs, smart refrigerators and other smart appliances. But Logitech has a new hub that can turn much of your existing home theater into a smart home theater.

The Logitech Harmony Ultimate and the Logitech Harmony Smart Control can work with your home theater setup, and a custom app for iOS and Android makes the pile of buttons on several remotes in your living room much less confusing.

The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is a central home theater hub with a remote control featuring a customizable 2.4-inch touch screen, in addition to a few buttons.

Everything in your living room can be run through the Logitech Harmony Ultimate Hub, which is able to connect to devices with IR broadcasting, as in most TV remotes: Bluetooth for game consoles –– PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii –– and smart phones; RF for stereo or other wireless devices and more.

The device is also able to connect with Phillips Hue, the new Wi-Fi-connected adjustable LED bulbs, to control lighting level and color.

"We've elevated the universal remote to the next level, taking a personalized approach to home entertainment," Joerg Tewes, vice president of Logitech's digital home business group, said in a release. "Furthermore, our Harmony product line is no longer just about entertainment access – we've designed the Logitech Harmony Ultimate so you can also control your home's lighting. Now you can tune the TV, start a movie and adjust your lights to set the mood, with the touch of your finger."

The device is able to pack in so much compatibility by remotely connecting to Logitech’s servers, it will keep up a database with settings and information on more than 225,000 different devices.

The Logitech Harmony Ultimate remote has many of the features of a smartphone, with configurable touch screen and motion controls and gestures, but Logitech is also unveiling its Harmony Smart Control system, which uses the Logitech Harmony Smartphone App to bring up to eight devices throughout your home under the control of your smartphone, with a more traditional backup remote.

The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is set for release later this month, at $349.99.

The Logitech Harmony Smart Control will be out next month for $129.99.

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