Alexa’s new Logitech Harmony skill adds voice control to your home theater

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Controlling your home theater setup with your voice just got a lot easier: Alexa now has an official Logitech Harmony skill, letting you issue simple commands like “Alexa, turn on the TV” or Alexa, turn on Netflix” to start Harmony activities. This is far simpler than existing third-party skills, which can give you Harmony control but involve awkward or complicated phrasing.

The new Logitech Harmony skill will let you start any activity you have registered for your Harmony Hub, which means it’ll also control connected smart home accessories like Hue lights. Setting up the skill is as easy as navigating to the Smart Home section of your Alexa app, and searching for ‘Harmony.” You’ll need a Harmony hub-based remote device for this to work, but otherwise it’s a free additional feature for existing users. The skill is available now for U.S. users, and will be rolling out in the UK sometime in the “coming months,” according to Harmony.

I’ve actually already found even using the complicated third-party solutions available to be immensely useful, so I’m very much looking forward to getting my Echo and Echo Dots working with the new Harmony skill. Just uttering a simple phrase to dim the lights, fire up the projector, wake the Apple TV and get everything ready for evening viewing feels an awful lot like the future.