Logitech Harmony Hub Makes Your Smartphone A Remote For $100

Universal remotes were all the rage for some time, but these days, it's clear that the phones most of us already carry are fully equipped to handle remote duties. Logitech has announced the Harmony Ultimate Hub, an "appcessory" that fully converts your phone into a remote. And it'll soon be available as a standalone purchase. As you may know, the Harmony Hub is included with the Logitech Harmony Ultimate and Logitech Harmony Smart Control, but with the standalone unit, everyone in the house will be able to download the free Harmony Smartphone App, and turn their smartphone into a personal universal remote.

Using only your smartphone, you can control up to eight home theater devices, and swipe or tap your thumb across its screen to adjust the volume, change the channel, fast-forward or rewind, pause, play, and skip forward or back. It lets you control video service like Netflix on game consoles, including the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PS3, directly from your smartphone. Plus it even works through closed cabinets and walls, so you don’t have to worry about pointing to the devices.

The Harmony Ultimate Hub is also compatible with Harmony Touch, turning its RF signals into IR and Bluetooth commands. This means, with the addition of the hub you can also access devices inside closed cabinets and control Bluetooth game consoles, in addition to turning your smartphone into a universal remote.

The Logitech Harmony Ultimate Hub is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe in August 2013, for a suggested retail price of $99.99.