By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 7:42 am
The most fully-baked thing about Logitech’s Revue Google TV box from last year wasn’t the Google TV part. It was Harmony Link, Logitech’s technology, drawn from its venerable Harmony line of universal remotes, for controlling an entertainment center full of gadgets from one remote.
Now Logitech is readying a stand-alone Harmony Link that lets you use an iPad, an iPhone, or an Android phone as a Harmony remote. The setup includes a flying saucer-shaped gizmo that talks to entertainment devices via infrared and iPads and phones via Wi-Fi, plus iOS and Android apps. And it uses the same online configuration and database of 225,000 devices as traditional Harmony remotes to let you configure it for your entertainment setup with a minimum of fuss.
Unlike similar newfangled universal-remote systems such as Peel and Griffin’s Beacon, Harmony Link emphasizes the iPad over smartphones: Its iPad app is fuller-featured, with searchable, browsable TV listings integrated into the user interface so you can abandon your cable company’s endless grid of listings altogether. (For now, the iPhone and Android apps let you control devices, but don’t have the listings.)
I haven’t tried Harmony Link for myself yet, but it looked slick when Logitech gave me a sneak peek recently. It’ll be $99 and Logitech says it’ll be available next month. Here’s the company’s own video demo.