Newark, Calif. – Logitech plans this month to issue a free firmware update that will transform its previous-generation Ultimate Harmony Hub, designed mainly to control home-entertainment systems, into a full-fledged home-automaton hub.
With the update, consumers who own the Ultimate Hub get the full functionality of the company’s latest Hub, the $99 Harmony Home Hub. The Home Hub was launched last fall when the Ultimate was discontinued.
Before the firmware update, the Ultimate Hub controlled home-entertainment systems via IR, game- console functions such as Nintendo Wii streaming services via Bluetooth, Sonos systems via Wi-Fi, and the Philips Hue Wi-Fi/ZigBee lighting bridge, which in turn connected to Philips’ ZigBee-equipped Hue LED lights.
With the firmware upgrade, the Ultimate Hub adds Wi-Fi control of home-automation products from such companies as August, Nest, Honeywell and Rheem; ZigBee/Z-Wave home-control hubs from Smart Things and PEQ; and the Lutron Smart Bridge Pro wireless lighting hub.
The firmware update also delivers user-interface changes.
The previous hub and current hub can be controlled from Android and iOS smartphones via Wi-Fi or by two Harmony remotes – one with hardbuttons, the other with touchscreen and hardbuttons – via proprietary RF.
Sometime this summer, Logitech will offer a ZigBee/Z-Wave extender for its current Hub to control compatible ZigBee and Z-Wave home-automation devices rather than rely on connections to other companies’ ZigBee/Z-Wave-equipped hubs.