Today’s home entertainment setups are more complicated than ever. From smart TVs to soundbars and subwoofers to Blu-Ray players, there are plenty of devices to connect. Unfortunately, many of them come with their own remote that can’t control the others.
For many years, consumers have turned to a universal remote to solve these woes and regain some control over their entertainment setup. Devices in Logitech’s Harmony lineup been the most popular universal remotes for some time. More recently, they have become the only option.
According to a post on Logitech’s support forums, the company now plans to stop manufacturing Harmony remotes.
This doesn’t come as a surprise since rumors of the company shutting down its Harmony division have been swirling for some time. As the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected hardware has become more popular, there simply isn’t as much need for universal remotes.
In fact, today’s tech-savvy consumers hardly touch their remote at all. Thanks to integrations with a growing number of devices, digital helpers like Alexa and Google Assistant can be used to control things with your voice. Likewise, smart home control apps on your phone give you the ability to do things manually without a separate controller.
That doesn’t leave much room for universal remotes. Although some consumers still enjoy the feeling of a separate controller for their devices, most prefer the convenience of using their phone or a smart speaker.
On its support forums, Logitech recently wrote, “While Harmony remotes are and continue to be available through various retailers, moving forward Logitech will no longer manufacture Harmony remotes.”
The news is confirmation of what consumers have been expecting for several years. Back in 2013, Logitech tried to offload its Harmony division by selling it to another company. Obviously, those efforts were not successful. It decided to keep the division running until now but hasn’t released much in the way of upgraded hardware during that time.
Now, rather than trying to sell the division again, Logitech is simply shutting it down. That’s probably a wise move given the fact that interest would likely be even lower now than it was in 2013.
What Happens to Harmony Devices?
Fortunately for those that still use Harmony remotes to control their entertainment systems, this news shouldn’t have much of an impact. In its statement, Logitech said, “We plan to support or Harmony community and new Harmony customers, which includes access to our software and apps to set up and manage your remotes.”
It goes on to say, “We also plan to continue to upgrade the platform and add devices to our Harmony base.”
Exactly what that means is unclear. Consumers probably shouldn’t expect major performance upgrades or the addition of new features. Instead, Logitech is likely to roll out support for new entertainment hardware as it is released. It’s unclear how long that support will last, however.
In the meantime, the company also plans to offer continued customer support and honor existing warranties on its products.