Logitech’s Harmony Remote Update Expands Home Control

May 28, 2015 by


New Harmony activities

Making good on last Fall’s promise, Logitech has delivered a major Harmony remote update to owners of its Harmony living room hub products. This includes the Harmony Ultimate, Ultimate One, Ultimate Hub, Touch, Smart Control and Smart Keyboard. The new firmware update brings these products in parity with the company’s newer Harmony Home line, adding home control capabilities beyond those already available with these products.

While the blogs—and even Logitech’s own site and press information—suggest that this update adds the ability to control lighting and temperature through hue and nest devices, that’s nothing new. What’s new is the ability to integrate those functions into activities. Perhaps more important is that these remotes can now also control a slew of other connected home devices, hubs, and services, including SmartThings, pēq, Lutron lighting and shading, and IFTTT. You can also create activities that start and end automatically on a schedule. And IFTTT integration allows you trigger an activity to start or end on any this event.

To update the Harmony Ultimate, Ultimate One, and Touch, you’ll need to connect the remote to a computer running Logitech’s ever-clunky, Silverlight desktop software. [Let's hope this is the next Harmony software to see a major overhaul—we dread the thought of setting all of this up from a phone.] You cannot get the firmware update over the air for the remotes with screens, though you can, using the Harmony app, for the other products. In our test, the update to the Ultimate took about 15 minutes. Upon disconnecting remote, the touchscreen is updated with the new look of the apps and the Harmony Home line, and the apps will offer new home control setup options.

In addition to this firmware update, we’re also expecting Logitech’s imminent release of the Harmony Home Hub Extender, which will add Zigbee and Z-Wave capabilities to these and the Harmony Home products. For more information about Harmony home control and the Harmony product roadmap, listen to episode 44 of Home: On, when we spoke with Chad Thompson, Logitech’s product and marketing director for the Harmony line.

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  • Kevin Rush AIA CSI ALA

    Harmony Remotes seem to be the undisputed leader but their product lines are confusing. I have been thinking about buying one, for years and probably seriously just in the last year. Every time I go to do my research (Harmony web site and Amazon) I can’t figure out or decide which of the many many many harmony remotes to buy, both old and current generations? A search of just “Harmony Ultimate” on Amazon give 6 products ranging in price from $160 to $400. I guess I’ll just have to make a spread sheet and try to figure it out.

    On another topic, I hope I’m wrong, but it seems like the Harmony remotes seem to be ignoring Insteon. and there isn’t an app for Microsoft Phones/Tablets. Maybe that is why I haven’t taken the time to sit down and study which one I want.

    Thank you everyone at DMZ for your great podcasts.

  • http://thedigitalmediazone.com Richard Gunther

    It can be very confusing. And their alliterative naming doesn’t help any. I hope the episode of Home: On we recorded with their product manager helped clarify things a bit. Basically, the Ultimate has been discontinued, replaced by the Ultimate Home. If you’re lucky enough to have the Ultimate, it’s essentially the same hardware and capabilities of the Harmony Ultimate Home now with this update, short of a few dedicated buttons for home control devices.

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