Logitech has announced that their Alexa Smart Home Skill, which allows control of their Harmony remotes and hubs, now supports more natural language commands using the new entertainment control capabilities that were just made available to developers by Amazon. These updates now remove the need to have two different Alexa skills for Harmony devices and make controlling devices much more intuitive. Read more ›
A couple of months ago, Harmony released an Alexa Skill that allowed you to start and stop activities on their line of Harmony smart remotes using your voice. Now they have released a second Alexa Skill with additional functionality. The two Alexa Skills can work together or independently. Read on for an explanation of why there are two skills and the advantages of each. Read more ›
Logitech has just released an official Alexa Skill that allows you to control Harmony remotes using your voice and Alexa. The new ability will allow you to say “Alexa, turn on/off the TV” to power on/off devices. You will also be able to enable Harmony Activities which control multiple devices, including smart home devices like lights and thermostats, with a single command. If you have cable television, you’ll also be able to change channels by simply saying “Alexa, turn on ESPN” without any extra configuration. As long as the Harmony remote hub recognises your cable provider, it will automatically detect the channels available to you and make them voice accessible.
Logitech also says the new Alexa Skill will be able to launch apps on Roku devices by saying something like “Alexa, turn on Netflix.” Harmony remotes are capable of controlling Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks via bluetooth, but there is no mention of Fire TV integration with this new Alexa Skill at this time. Many people have already been able to achieve all of these voice features, and more, by linking Harmony hubs with Alexa through third party services like IFTTT and Yonomi. This new Alexa Skill from Logitech is a good start, but hopefully they’ll continue to expand on its abilities, since 1st-party solutions have the potential to be far better than 3rd-party middleman option.
The dream of controlling your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick using an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Tap is closer to becoming a reality, thanks to Logitech. The consumer electronics company is currently beta testing Alexa integration with their very popular Harmony line of universal remotes, according to an email received by Dave Zatz of Zatz Not Funny. Harmony remotes are among the few universal remotes that work with the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, thanks to their included Harmony Hub. The hub connects to the Fire TV via bluetooth and relays input from the RF-based remote to the Fire TV. The new Alexa integration will initially allow you to use your voice to trigger Harmony Activities, which are profiles you set that prepare your A/V equipment for a specific viewing task. This functionality is possible using third-party services like IFTTT, but it’s always nice to have first-party support directly from the manufacturer. Future Alexa capabilities could be added to more deeply control the Fire TV with your voice.
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Logitech has released an update to their Harmony line of remotes and smartphone apps which adds the ability to control the Amazon Fire TV. The update covers the Harmony Smart remote, Harmony Ultimate remote, the Harmony Android app, and the Harmony iOS app. With this update, both the remotes and app can now control the Fire TV via Bluetooth. However, neither the remotes nor the app can trigger the Fire TV’s built-in voice search. Instead, Logitech has added their own voice search to their app. The app is capable of acting as a keyboard for the Fire TV. Voice search queries done with the app will be relayed to the Fire TV as keyboard input. The update is already live for the remotes and Android app. The iOS update should come soon.
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Tagged with: Harmony