Logitech Harmony gets Sonos controls and voice search

In order to expand the reach of its integrated entertainment system, Logitech is announcing a software upgrade for both its Harmony Ultimate remote control and Harmony Smart Control app. Now these two controllers can let users sift through their Sonos playlists or search for streaming content, right from the comfort of their couch.

It has been more than a year since Logitech first announced these two pieces of its Harmony ecosystem. For those who might have forgotten, the Harmony Ultimate is like a universal remote that comes with a touchscreen interface in addition to physical buttons. The main star of the Harmony Smart Control, on the other hand, is the mobile app, though it also comes with a regular remote control for backup. Both sets come with the Harmony Hub which connects to the home WiFi network and the A/V hardware via IR or Bluetooth.

With the update, both the remote and the app will be able to control interconnected Sonos wireless speakers, allowing users to play, pause, rewind or move forward wherever they are in their abode. But it isn't all just about playback either. You can view your Sonos playlist as well so that you aren't going in blind in selecting what tunes to play.

Exclusive to the Harmony Smart Control app is new speech-to-text abilities. Powered by either Siri or Android speech recognition, depending on your device, you can search for media content to play using just your voice. Of course you can still use your fingers to type, but that's less cooler. You will be able to search through your catalog on supported media devices, which now happily includes the newly launched Amazon Fire TV set-top box and gaming console.

The good news about these new features is that, being merely software upgrades, they come for free. According to Logitech, the update should start rolling out today. The devices, of course, aren't for free. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate will cost you $349.99 while the Logitech Harmony Smart Control kit costs $129.99. If you already have a Harmony Ultimate, however, simply install the app on your smartphone and you're good to go as if you had a Harmony Smart Control, only better and pricier.

SOURCE: Logitech