Theis at last starting to fulfill its potential in the smart home. With a dozen new companies announcing integrations with its platform, the search giant has dramatically increased what its smart speaker can do.
Amazon’s AI assistant can fire up HBO, close the shades and dim the lights, all in one go.
Alexa now (officially) works with Logitech’s Harmony Hub, meaning it’s a lot easier to get voice control over your home entertainment and automation devices. After you enable the Alexa skill on an Amazon Echo, Dot or other supported device, you’ll be able to start and stop Harmony Activities, change channels and control devices using the AI assistant. Simple commands include “Alexa, turn on Netflix,” or “Alexa, turn on my TV.”
Logitech’s ill-fated Revue was one of the first devices with Google TV — how could we forget that ad campaign — and now it’s back in the fold with an Android TV app. Compatible with hub-based Harmony remotes, it brings control of Harmony Activities to the big screen. Given enough home automation tie-ins throughout your home, it can adjust the blinds, thermostat, speakers and lights to create the desired viewing experience.
It’s been a couple of years since I talked about universal remote control devices and apps. For me, an awesome universal remote control is the holy grail of home automation; having a single device that can mimic every function of all five individual remote controls for my home theatre system is priceless. And the ability to control my Phillips Hue and Lutron Caseta lights, Nest thermostat, and other smart devices from a single remote (or a single iOS app) is the icing on the cake.
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The Harmony Elite, engineered for both home-automation and home-theater control, is an updated version of the Harmony Ultimate. Like the Ultimate, the Elite features support for up to 15 devices for use with more than 270, 000 different products. Logitech said it used consumer feedback for its redesign, moving the touchscreen to the top and adding dedicated buttons for lighting and temperature controls.
Image courtesy of twice.com