Since the invention of the remote control, technology has been steadily advancing to grant us the ability to increase our productivity without being forced to leave the safety and security of our own couch. A similar statement can be made about our phones, which have now progressed to being capable of so many different high tech functions that actually being a phone is the least of its uses. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to turn a smartphone or tablet into a universal remote, and one that is capable of operating someone’s house for them. Logitech’s Harmony Hub will not grant your phone absolute control over everything in the house, but it does bring us a lot closer to this reality.
The Harmony Hub works with a lot of devices. At Hardcore Gamer it is assumed that the commonality across all our readers is we like like video games to some degree so this device is compatible with Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It cannot turn the power of the PlayStation 4 on, but once the console is fired up, the Harmony app can be used to navigate through the system and operate other installed apps on the console such as Netflix or Amazon Video. For actually playing games, this author recommends players stick with the controller. Outside of the two major current gen game consoles, there are thousands of devices that work with Harmony Hub. To help determine if this device is of value to you personally, this site allows you type in your devices to see if they are compatible and what type of experience one can expect from them, along with some set up guides for certain products.
Navigating through console UIs is a cool feature, but not exactly a strong selling point if that is all this can do since game controllers can do that. What the Harmony Hub aims to do is turn your smart phone into a universal remote for everything. A possible scenario could be using it to turn on the TV, set it to the proper channel, fire up the Roku or Blu-ray player and navigate to the movie you which to watch and adjust the volume controls on the sound system while dimming the lights in the room. Basically taking control of the room and setting up the perfect ambiance for movie night and whatever ulterior motives that might entail.
To really get the most out of the Harmony Hub it helps to have a lot of tech integration in the home. High tech homes can use the Harmony Hub to perform tasks like drawing blinds, locking windows or controlling lights. To state the obvious, it won’t do anything to an antique lamp or standard window. Conceptually the device is a convenient and useful piece of technology, but the practical value it has will vary greatly across individuals and the amount of integration they can utilize from it, making the Harmony Hub fall anywhere between a wonderful device one can’t live without it to something that is absolutely useless. While not something we generally think of for fun electronics, the Harmony Hub has a lot of applications regarding sensor controls, light dimmers and electronic home locks and security systems, along with fun things like the cable box, Xbox and Apple TV.
That being said, for those who can make use of it this is quite a cool little device. Out of the box it takes about thirty seconds of being plugged in to power up the hub. Using the Harmony app one simply has to go the device menu and find the device they want to add and go through the prompts to connect it and set everything up. Once it is set up Harmony can switch between several devices instantly, going from say Roku to a Blu-ray player to quickly swapping between a few preferred channels among the several hundred most cable packages contain. For those who want to feel like a true god of technology, the Harmony Hub is compatible with Amazon Alexa so the Harmony can control various devices through voice commands. The more time spent playing with the app will naturally improve the ease of using it and discover more uses for it and ways to customize the commands such as grouping several devices together. The Harmony Hub can control devices that are tucked safely behind cabinetry and through the magic of Wi-Fi can control some items when the user is away from home.
The Harmony Hub is an interesting piece of technology that works through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and has a mini IR blaster to work with some infrared receiver devices. For people who like gadgetry and have a lot of tech integrated into their home, this is a device that is worth checking out, but actually recommending this product to someone is entirely dependent on how appealing the concept sounds and how much stuff do they have that allows them to utilize the Harmony Hub. If the concept sounds like something you’d want, it’s recommended to go to the link earlier in this article and see what all devices you own are actually compatible with this. Setting up the device isn’t too painful, the instructions are straight forward and it only takes a few minutes to get it up and running. While not something that would be considered essential, it is definitely something nice to have and having control of so many electronics from one device is rather enjoyable.