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Declutter Your Lounge and Control Your Lights With These Smart Remotes

Logitech's announced two new universal remote controls to try and tidy up your cluttered coffee table. Not just that, but they can control your lights and even make use of Wi-Fi. Take that, poor range.


The new devices, the Harmony Ultimate and the Harmony Smart Control, are able to connect to another new device called the Harmony Hub. It's the hub that actually controls your home entertainment equipment, via RF or Wi-Fi. That means you can put your devices anywhere you damn choose.

The Ultimate is quite something for a remote control: it has a 2.4-inch color touchscreen that can control up to 15 devices—from a bewildering range of 225,000 products—with touch gestures. You can also use it to control your new Philips' Hue LED lightbulbs. The Smart Control pairs with your phone, to lets you start using your iPhone or Android as a personalised remote. That might not prove quite as useful with the advent of IR beamers built into phones, but it's still a nice feature for now.


The Harmony Ultimate will be available in the US in April for $350; the Smart Control will land in May for $130. Both remotes come with the Harmony Hub included. [All Things D]

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I have had several Harmony Ones. I love them to death.

I recently tried the Harmony Touch as a replacement, and I'll tell you it wasn't great.

For one thing, the buttons don't light up until after you push a button, unlike the H1 which had some sort of motion sensor. So it was pretty useless in the dark.

It felt strange in my hand. It was hard to reach for the buttons above the screen, which were buttons I use a lot.

But my biggest complaint about this is the touch screen. Hey hardware manufacturers, not everything needs a touch screen and swipe gestures ok? Touch screens don't offer tactile feedback before pressing a button. This means I have to look at the remote, away from what I'm watching Not a good move. My H1 has buttons with subtle size and shape differences so I know where on the remote my finger is, what button I'm about to push, before I make a mistake and end a PPV or DVR show, change the channel, mute the volume or turn it up too loud, etc.