Logitech Harmony and Amazon work together for the sake of home entertainment center, announcing on Oct. 25 a new Amazon Alexa skill that enables voice control for the entire living room using the Logitech Harmony Hub. The feature is available for Alexa-enabled devices, such as Amazon Echo or Echo Dot.
From turning on the TV to opening the Xbox or Netflix, users can now start and stop any Harmony Activities they wish. Playing any game and listening to favorite tunes will be possible with the sole command of voice.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and IR devices can also be controlled using iOS or Android. The feature is currently available in the U.S. and will be shortly released in the UK as well. The Hub supports more than 270,000 home entertainment devices across as many as 6,000 brands.
"This new capability is both practical and fun for our users. We've been working closely with Amazon to deliver robust voice control of your smart home using a Harmony hub-based remote and an Alexa-enabled device -- and if you don't have Harmony yet, just say 'Alexa, order a Harmony Hub' and have one delivered," said Renee Niemi, general manager of the smart home business at Logitech.
The era of multiple remotes to control devices has passed. Moreover, one can trigger multiple actions through a single voice command. Just set up the activity and create a program in Logitech's interface, Alexa will then open it all whenever needed.
For instance, if one has an evening activity planned and programmed, whenever the user says "Alexa, turn on my evening activity", the number of actions previously set up will be triggered. The bot will then apply all the prearranged sequences, from entertainment to home automation: one can dim lights, lower blinds, adjust temperature, and use any device all in one command.
Voice control is already available for smart TVs and AV devices manufactured by LG, Samsung, Google and others.
The Harmony skill works with every Alexa-enabled devices, among which Amazon Echo smart speaker, the Amazon Echo Dot mini-speaker or the battery-powered Amazon Tap speaker. However, one will need a Logitech Harmony remote that comes along with the Logitech Harmony Hub.
Logitech aims to design products that have everyday purposes in our interactive, modern lives. The company's purpose is to enrich its customers' digital experiences and connect them through music, games, video and computing.
Amazon Echo, also known as Doppler, is a smart speaker developed by Amazon, answering to the name Alexa. The device is 9.25 inch tall and a seven-piece microphone array. The "name" of the device can be changed into either "Amazon" or "Echo". Aside from being used in listening to music, Echo's 500 skills can prove to be useful in many circumstances.