In Control

Logitech Harmony Link

There are a handful of companies out there already trying to turn your smartphone or tablet into the universal remote of your dreams, but none of them has the home theater chops of Logitech. Now, after years of making the best universal remotes out there for the average consumer, the company’s new Harmony Link ($99) puts the power of Logitech’s incredibly user friendly Harmony software on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. Like competing systems, the Harmony Link uses a WiFi to infrared transmitter “puck” that enables your mobile device to control various components. They also throw in a mini IR blaster accessory for controlling devices out of your direct line of sight. The real game changer though is the web-based software, which allows home theater novices to easily add devices and assign them to various activity macros such as “watch a movie”, for controlling a slew of gear with the touch of button. Since touch screens lack some of the ergonomic advantages of traditional wand remotes, the software also allows basic functions such as volume control and video play back to be toggled via simple swipes and taps. So you can keep your eye on the show instead of your lap. Speaking of shows,the iPad app also provides TV listings via a personalized integrated guide. Available this October for $99, it’s an interesting alternative for those hoping to kill off yet another gadget in their lives. Pointing your phone at your better half and asking for a beer will still do nothing.

Buy Now: $99 (Available October)