Logitech isn't exactly a stranger to universal remotes, and if you've been yearning for an Android or iOS aimed solution from the Swiss company, its new $100 Harmony Link should have you covered. The Link is a WiFi-enabled infrared puck and app combo, that allows you to control up to eight devices in your home theater from the comfort of your touchscreen sans pesky dongles or cases. After downloading a free app, pocket-sized iDevices and Android smartphones can act as universal remotes over your home network, while iPad users also get the benefit of personalized TV listings from Rovi. It's similar in price and function to Peel's Fruit, but drops the extra wireless dongle and adds a native iPad app. Notably, the Link can interface with multiple iPads at once, and Logitech's also thrown in a mini IR blaster to make controlling your AV gear that much easier. If another one of your home theater dreams just came true, the Harmony Link is up for pre-order now from Logitech and due out in October. While you're still here, there's quick video overview past the break along with the usual PR spiel.
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Logitech Harmony Link to Enable One-Touch Control of Home Entertainment System from iPad
Harmony Link Also Transforms iPhone, iPod touch and Android Smartphones into Full-Featured Remote Control
FREMONT, Calif. - September 20, 2011 - With thousands of TV channels and seemingly unlimited choice of shows and movies, getting to the content you are looking for is often a challenge as you navigate among programming guides and juggle multiple remotes to control your home entertainment system. With this in mind, today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) unveiled Logitech Harmony® Link, a small device designed to fit in next to your TV and media electronics and communicate over Wi-Fi® with the free Logitech Harmony Link App for iPad®. After setup, the Logitech Harmony Link and the Logitech Harmony Link App work together to let iPad users browse a personalized schedule of their favorite shows, channels and genres to find something good to watch and - with one touch - turn on all the right devices and tune to the right channel.
"Logitech Harmony Link extends our vision of removing barriers between people and their entertainment by replacing the clutter and confusion of multiple remotes and different program guides with a single intuitive touch interface," said Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech's Digital Home Group. "Our research revealed that many iPad owners are using their iPad on the sofa while watching TV, many of them seeking ways to find out what shows are on. We set out to make this experience easier. Using Logitech Harmony Link and the Harmony Link App, iPad users can browse for what is on television, and with one touch of "watch now" icon next to the show of their choice, they can automatically turn on their TV and other electronics, and tune directly to the show they want to watch."
Logitech Harmony Link delivers more than just a personalized program guide to iPad users. By leveraging Logitech Harmony technology, it offers the activity- and device-based control provided by the award-winning line of Logitech Harmony Advanced Universal Remotes. Just select what you want to do, such as "Watch a Movie" or "Listen to Music," and Harmony Link automatically switches your devices to the right settings - meaning you won't be fumbling with multiple remotes or manually switching inputs anymore.
Control from Your iPad
The Logitech Harmony Link connects to your existing home wireless network to receive Wi-Fi signals from the Harmony Link App and turns them into IR commands that home-entertainment devices can understand. Harmony Link can control up to eight devices, is compact (about the size of a hockey puck) and was designed to integrate neatly and discreetly with your home entertainment system. Harmony Link includes an IR mini-blaster accessory so you can control entertainment devices both inside and outside of a closed entertainment cabinet.
And because the Harmony Link App transforms simple swipes and taps into useful actions, such as volume control and video playback, you can stay in control of your entertainment without taking your eyes off whatever you're watching on your big screen.
Harmony Link can even connect with more than one iPad at a time, letting multiple family members use their own iPad - with their own set of favorite channels - rather than fighting over a single remote.
Turn Your Smartphone into a Remote Control
The remote control functionality of Logitech Harmony Link also works with the iPhone® or iPod touch® as well as with Android smartphones. Initially, smartphones will not receive personalized program guides from the downloadable App; however, Harmony Link will deliver complete activity-based control over up to eight devices in your entertainment system. Now you can essentially turn your smartphone into a great universal remote.
Program Information Provided by Rovi
Logitech has teamed with Rovi Corporation to provide program information behind its free Harmony Link App. An important element to entertainment discovery, Rovi data includes show synopses, movie overviews, and images to give you an in-depth and visually rich experience as you navigate through entertainment content and connect to your television guide.
Pricing and Availability
The Logitech Harmony Link is expected to be available in the U.S. in October for a suggested retail price of $99.99. The Harmony Link App for iOS tablets and smartphones and the Harmony Link App for Android smartphones are expected to be available as free downloads in October from the iTunes App Store and Android Market, respectively.
Logitech is a world leader in products that connect people to the digital experiences they care about. Spanning multiple computing, communication and entertainment platforms, Logitech's combined hardware and software enable or enhance digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, audio and video communication over the Internet, video security and home-entertainment control. Founded in 1981, Logitech International is a Swiss public company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (LOGN) and on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (LOGI).