Logitech has announced what we knew was coming: some Logitech’s Harmony remote devices can now be controlled by voice via the Amazon Alexa smart speaker. The new ability is available now in the U.S and it will be made available to the U.K ‘in this months,’ says Logitech. The new feature will allow users to turn on TVs, control DVRs, and also start apps like Netflix by using simple voice commands, if your devices are connected through the Harmony Hub or the Harmony Elite remote. A complete list of commands wasn’t immediately available, but in the theory, nothing prevents every single Harmony commands from being voice-activated.
Some example commands include:
- ‘Alexa, turn on Netflix’
- ‘Alexa, turn on the TV’
- ‘Alexa, turn on my evening activity’
The new Logitech Harmony skill will let you start any activity you have registered for your Harmony Hub, which means it will also control connected smart home accessories like Hue lights. Setting up the skill is now as easy as navigating to the Smart Home section of your Alexa app, and searching for ‘Harmony.’ You will need a Harmony hub-based remote device for this to work, Otherwise it’s a free additional feature for existing users.
‘This new capability is both practical and fun for users,’ said Renee Niemi, general manager of the smart home business at Logitech. ‘We have been working closely with Amazon to deliver robust voice control of your smart home using a Harmony hub-based remote and Alexa-enabled device — and if you don’t have Harmony yet, just say ‘Alexa, order a Harmony Hub’ and have one delivered.’
Voice control is already available for smart TVs and AV devices by LG, Google, Samsung and other manufacturers. However, Logitech’s Harmony Hub works with just about every home entertainment device, with smart home products like the Philips Hue lights and Nest. That might make it the simplest way to get voice commands to your home entertainment system and just avoid any IFTTT-type programming. Alexa support comes to the US this week and to the UK ‘in the coming months.’