It has definitely been a little while since we have seen anything new from the Harmony line of remotes, and it is great to see something new, as harmony remotes are such great devices. I personally have two harmony remotes myself, though a little on the lower end of the product line. The benefits they give me are awesome, having as many devices just in my entertainment center as I do, you can imagine the collection of remotes I have. Being able to consolidate those down to one is a beautiful thing. Now Logitech has taken the harmony remote tot he next level with the Harmony Touch remote. They have taken feedback from their customers and produced something I think is truly remarkable.
With the Harmony Touch remote they have now put in front and center a touchscreen which becomes your main area for interacting with the remote. The center touch screen lets you select your activity, scroll (instead of constant clicking next page) down a list of commands relevant to the activity, and now a new item in favorites which let you select 50 of your fave channels right from the remote. The favorite features is especially nice if you’ve recently move to a new TV provider like I have. Being an Optimum subscriber for many years, and now switching to Verizon’s FIOS service, I have no idea what channel number is the one I’m looking for. With the Harmony Touch remote, once I select the favorite channels, there is now an icon for the TV station, so I no longer need to remember numbers and can just look for the icon!
The favorite feature is very cool, but I have always had a couple gripes with the harmony remotes. One of them being that whenever I needed to make a change to my remote, I had to take it back to the computer, make the changes and then sync it to the remote. I found this quite annoying as I always had to find the cable I needed, and remember my password to the software account. I’m happy to say this is no longer an issue with the Harmony Touch. Now while you will need to connect it to the computer the first time you set it up, after it little changes can be done right from the remote now. Need to edit an activity or add/delete/edit a command button? This can all be done right from the remote. I love this as I’m no longer chained to the computer.
Another gripe I had, which is separate from the remote itself, was with the software you used to program your remotes. As I mentioned I own multiple Harmony remotes and before you had to have a separate account for each remote. This has now also been corrected. Now you only need one account, and this can accommodate up to 6 remotes, so no more trying to remember separate accounts just to program or make changes to your other remotes! This is another welcome change with Harmony and their remotes.
Rounding out the features with the Harmony Touch remote is a couple of cool features, one in the commands. There is a command on the list called gestures. With gestures is selected depending on the activity you’re in or maybe set up, you can simply swipe left/right and up/down for actions. This eliminates the need to press certain buttons. Say you have it set up for volume, swiping up or down could be increase or reduce the volume. Swiping left/right could be changing the channel or forward and rewind. Tap the screen, well that could be pause/play. This gives it a more nature feel when using your remote. This allows you to do simple actions with it. I’ve been increasing my use of this gesture feature, and I like it. Also included is a remote dock that recharges the remote when not in use. And trust me a lot more.
The Harmony Touch remote will run about $249.99 and can be purchased from logitech.com or from stores like Best Buy or Amazon.com