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Harmony remotes are fading in relevance as streaming takes over, says Logitech CEO

[2019.10.08, Tue 20:05] Logitech's Harmony universal remotes were once a living room must-have. They brought order to TV setups everywhere by communicating with your cable box, game consoles, streaming devices, and everything else, and more recent Harmony remotes could control smart home devices as well. Voice commands make getting to your favorite Netflix or Prime Video show much faster as Alexa and Google Assistant get better at controlling TVs. In fact, Logitech's most recent Harmony remote actually has Amazon Alexa built right in, which is as direct an acknowledgment of the shifting landscape as you're going to get. During an interview on The Vergecast, Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell discussed Harmony's shrinking relevance at the company. "Now you have a different problem: you have 10 different streaming services, and I want to watch Friends. Where do I watch it? So it's less about different devices and more about different streaming services. How do I get to the one that's either the cheapest or the fastest or the one that I like the most or whatever it is?" Helping you pick what service to use on a streaming box isn't something Harmony will push into, according to Darrell, who said, "I think that's probably the domain of other people." Logitech has also occasionally riled some of its loyal Harmony customers over the last couple of years as features have come and gone, which is a lot of drama for a small business line in the ever-growing Logitech portfolio. "The cool thing about [Harmony], and the thing that we appreciate, is that the users of that business love it. I mean, really love it. And it's so rare to have users that love something as much as a lot of our Harmony users do. We'll always take care of them because we really believe that that's part of the responsibility of the brand. So we do love Harmony for that reason."
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