It’s tough making the case for universal remotes. I mean, we already use phones to control the internet-of-things around the house, so it just makes sense to use it to control the various electronics in your home entertainment system, too. Unless, of course, your universal remote can also work as an all-in-one control station like the Logitech Harmony Elite.
Going beyond the TV, stereo, and Blu-ray player, the new universal remote can be programmed to control various smart gadgets in your home. No more launching a dedicated app on your phone to adjust the thermostat, disengage the smart lock, or control any other connected appliance around the house – just pick up the remote lying on the coffee table and you’re set.
The Logitech Harmony Elite doesn’t do that all on its own, though. Out of the box, it’s merely a regular universal remote, with support for typical home electronics and various pre-programmed settings. To use as an internet-of-things controller, it needs to be paired with the Harmony Hub, which can interface with up to 270,000 different devices over IR, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Completing the ensemble is an accompanying smartphone app, where you can map the remote’s buttons to specific actions, whether it be dimming the lights, raising the blinds, or locking down the front door.
Combined with the hub, it’s compatible with a good selection of popular connected devices, as well as platforms like SmartThingsSM, INSTEON, and IFTTT, so there are a whole load of things you can program the remote to do. Features include a 2.4-inch touchscreen above the traditional remote buttons, macros (you can assign multiple actions to happen with one press), and motion-activated backlit controls, so you can see the buttons even in the dark.
Pricing for the Logitech Harmony Elite is set at $349.