This just in: Logitech has announced the Harmony H880 color LCD activity-based remote control! More details and photographs will be forthcoming, but for now here's the full CES press release...
In Full Color: Logitech Harmony 880 Remote Simplifies HDTVs, PVRs
Color Screen and Advanced Navigation Make Child's Play of Complicated New Home-Entertainment Systems
LAS VEGAS — Jan. 05, 2005 —
At the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show, Logitech (SWX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) will preview a new universal remote control optimized for people buying complicated new HDTVs and personal video recorders (PVRs). With a large color display, the new Logitech® Harmony® 880 advanced remote control offers enhanced navigation that simplifies the use of these new home-entertainment systems. Slated for availability in April, the new remote is the first to leverage Logitech's renowned design expertise to make the Harmony remote even more stylish and intuitive, so home-entertainment can be fun and relaxing. "People buying a high-definition TV today are likely to be frustrated by all the adjustments they have to make every time they simply want to switch from watching a TV program to watching a DVD," said Bryan McLeod, vice president of Logitech's remote control division. "These new home-entertainment devices are complicated, especially for the family. The Harmony 880 remote can take the headaches and confusion away."
Maintaining the same comfort-grip design as previous models of Harmony remotes, the new Harmony 880 features a vibrant, color LCD and finely sculpted buttons that make selecting an activity a breeze. Colorful icons now accompany text on the LCD screen to allow for quick and easy command of home entertainment equipment. The remote is also rechargeable, eliminating the need to change batteries. When the remote is not in use, it rests on an attractive charging platform. Those with an eye for design will also be drawn to the polished chrome directional pad and buttons, contrasted by the remote's glossy black and brushed grey finishes.
The Harmony remote solves a problem that is prevalent in the modern-day living room: too many complicated remote controls. It has the ability to control any component with an infrared receiver. After an intuitive, Internet-powered setup, any family member or guest can use the Harmony remote without guesswork or frustration. Selecting an activity - such as watching a DVD or watching TV - requires pressing just one button. Logitech's patented Smart State Technology allows the Harmony remote to easily control a home entertainment system by knowing how components are connected, the status of each device and any given time, and how to direct each component.
The color display has eight buttons, four located on the left and right sides, which together serve as a personalized activity control center. During setup, background images can be downloaded to fit personal preference. To optimize visual navigation, on-screen icons and text describe specific activities, such as watching TV or listening to music. The remote is fully backlit so it's easy to navigate in the dark. When their eyes are glued to the television, people can find useful buttons effortlessly, by touch. The primary navigation controls - such as play, pause, record and the number buttons - are easily identified by feel due to their varied size, shape and location.
With rechargeable lithium ion batteries, the Harmony 880 remote will never require new batteries. Meanwhile, the stylish recharging station provides a home for the remote so that the whole family knows where to put and find it. Oriented horizontally, the recharging platform fits in a subtle, yet attractive manner on either a side table, or atop the entertainment stack.
Smart State Technology
Powered by the patented Smart State Technology, Harmony remote controls are designed to work the way people think, requiring just one click of a button to initiate a home-entertainment activity. For example, to watch TV on a satellite system with a personal video recorder (PVR), the TV, receiver, satellite, and PVR box may all have to be powered up and set to the right inputs. A Harmony remote can send all of the appropriate infrared (IR) commands with one touch. Without the Harmony remote, the activity might require pressing 10 or more buttons on several remote controls.
All Harmony remotes are Internet-powered: they use a USB connection to interface with the PC. They are easily programmed through a shared, online database containing information about tens of thousands of home stereo equipment and remote controlled devices. All Harmony customers have their own online home page that details their exact setup, which can easily be updated or modified when they purchase new equipment for the system.
Pricing and Availability
The Harmony 880 remote is expected to be available beginning in April in North America and in May in Europe. The suggested retail price is expected to be $249.95 in the U.S.
Founded in 1981, Logitech designs, manufactures and markets personal peripherals that enable people to effectively work, play, and communicate in the digital world. Logitech International is a Swiss public company traded on the Swiss Stock Exchange (LOGN) and in the U.S. on the Nasdaq National Market System (LOGI). The company has manufacturing facilities in Asia and offices in major cities in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
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