It’s weird to think that future generations will never understand the surreal experience of walking into an electronics store and trying to understand what a $350 remote control could possibly do to justify the cost.
Regardless, that’s our new reality as Logitech moves to shutter the Harmony brand. The company confirmed in a support article that the remotes will no longer be manufactured, though service and software updates will continue for the internet-connected devices.
“We expect no impact to our customers by this announcement. We plan to support our Harmony community and new Harmony customers, which includes access to our software and apps to set up and manage your remotes,” Logitech’s note reads.
“We also plan to continue to update the platform and add devices to our Harmony database. Customer and warranty support will continue to be offered.”
Harmony brand remote controls first launched in 2001 and they were successful enough to draw Logitech’s interest, spurring an eventual acquisition in 2004. They’ve been popular items since then, justifying their high cost (compared to other universal remotes) with smart features and internet connectivity that play nice with elaborate home theater setups.
Logitech is very clear in the support article that these features aren’t going to change, at least for now. That includes third-party integrations with smart devices from Alexa or Google. The change just impacts manufacturing, meaning Harmony products will hereafter only be available on a “while supplies last” basis.
That’s the reason Logitech isn’t going to be offering refunds even for newly purchased Harmony remotes. “Our goal is to keep service running as long as customers are using it,” the article reads.
What this move does do is set Logitech up for a post-Harmony future. Some of the brand’s more recent products evolved the universal remote idea to include hub-based interfaces that allowed the system to link up with smart home and Internet of Things products. But there’s some stiff competition in that space.
Could Logitech have further built Harmony out to compete? Sure, probably. But the company is much more invested in computer peripherals and telecommunications products. Home theaters are getting more elaborate, but they’re also bringing more smart features — and feature-packed remote controls — than ever.
Logitech’s support article doesn’t comment on the reason for the decision to discontinue Harmony products, but it’s likely that struggles were ahead (if they haven’t arrived already) for keeping the brand relevant and fairly priced next to the competition. As it stands for now, there’s still plenty of stock to be found on Harmony remotes. But if it’s something you’ve been thinking about picking up, now’s a good time to make a final decision.