Logitech Wants Universal Home Platform to Become Standard

Logitech's Home Hub, the central controller, turns any smartphone or tablet into a universal remote for connected home devices.

Logitech Home Hub

Logitech, which made its reputation developing useful untethered peripheral devices such as headsets and keyboards, is using its wireless intellectual property in new ways by connecting various other items around the house to smartphones and tablets.

The Fremont, Calif.-based device maker came out Sept. 17 with a list of new home automation products for its Harmony line that includes the Home Hub, Ultimate Home remote, Home Control remote and Hub Extender.

Home Hub, the central controller, turns any smartphone or tablet into a universal remote, giving users control over all home entertainment and home-automation devices. It relays commands from the Harmony App to all compatible home-automation devices and up to eight home entertainment devices using RF (radio frequency), IR (infrared), WiFi or Bluetooth.

The hub, with the smartphone, tablet or Logitech remote control as the user interface, can be used to control television monitors, radios, home stereos, wireless speakers, thermostats, lamps and other lighting, door locks, home security and other items.

Logitech said that about 270,000 products are compatible with the Harmony Hub software. The company believes Harmony can become a uniting platform for most, if not all, connected home devices.

Logitech's software also enables users to automate and customize their setups. They can combine such elements as lighting, locks and a thermostat at the same time to open the house each morning, for example, with a single button push on the smartphone or remote control or by simply passing by a sensor.

Users can even trigger activities from the Harmony Mobile App when they are away from home.

The new Harmony products are compatible with products from Honeywell, Kwikset, Google Nest, Philips, Schlage, SmartThings, Sylvania, and Yale, among others. Logitech also has launched a developer program to build new applications for its system.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...