The second device I bought for use with the Amazon Echo Dot and Alexa was the Logitech Harmony Hub. It promises to enable voice-control of the various devices that the Logitech Harmony Hub can control, such as the television and Digital set top box, sound system, games consoles, Apple TV etc. I ordered mine from Amazon for £99.99.
As I ordered it through Amazon Prime, I received it the next day. First thing I noticed was how small the Harmony Hub was, which is great as it means less clutter. In fact it is only a little bigger than the Apple TV.
What does the Logitech Harmony Hub do?
It is the control box which can simplify how you control various devices which communicate via infra-red, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth – which means pretty much most devices can be controlled by it. It will allow for sequenced switching on and off the various devices you setup under a particular named action. For example, if you wanted to watch a movie, it could switch on in sequence the television/projector, Apple TV, sound system and dim the bedroom lights (as well as other controllable equipment such as motorised windows blind/curtains).
To control the Harmony Hub and set it up, you will need to first download the Harmony App. This will run you through the various steps in order to set it up, including connecting it to the wireless router. It updated the firmware of the hub when I first set it up.
Next step would be to inform Harmony of the various devices that you have, as this will enable it to create some Activities automatically for you to use these devices. Based on the equipment I have, the Harmony App automatically set up 5 activities for me. This allows me to listen to music, watch TV, a movie, Apple TV or play the Playstation. It will run through each routine so you can check that all the devices are activated and works perfectly.
These are the different devices I have connected to Harmony. It even allows me to setup my iPhone as a Bluetooth keyboard for the Sony Playstation 3.
It is possible to add the Harmony widget onto the Notification screen of the iPhone which means easier access to the various devices you have setup on the Logitech Harmony Hub, as well as to the Harmony App.
Now while the Logitech Harmony Hub does allow me to control it via my iPhone, I wanted to be able to control my home devices with voice activation through the Amazon Echo Dot’s Alexa. Unfortunately currently the Harmony Smart Homes Skills is unavailable on the Alexa App for UK. But fortunately there is a different Skills called Yonomi available which is said to allow Alexa to communicate with the Logitech Harmony Hub.
I have posted about the Yonomi App separately. See here: Yonomi – control of Logitech Harmony Hub with Amazon Alexa.