Logitech’s Harmony brand tried to reinvent the wheel with the Harmony Express remote, but it didn’t work. The company just sent an email to customers alerting them that the $ 250 remote – which used Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant as the brain for controlling your various home theater components – will no longer function after September 30. It shuts down completely from both Harmony and Alexa clouds, according to this FAQ. Au.
The Harmony Express was only introduced in April 2019, so that’s quite a short lifespan for what was positioned as an important product for the company. Retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy, have already stopped selling the device, which clearly didn’t get off the ground Logitech envisioned. The company is taking some steps to help customers who took a chance and bought the Express, so read on to learn more.
“With Alexa Built-In, Harmony Express wanted to replace the complexity of the touchscreens and programmable buttons on other Harmony remotes with a simple voice interface,” Harmony wrote in an email to customers. “Unfortunately, our expectations for this type of Harmony remote have not been met, so we decided to focus our efforts on our core user experience: powerful universal remote in a world with many devices connected to the TV.”
Logitech tried to create a voice-controlled, convenience-oriented remote for its loyal customer base for home theater enthusiasts, and the idea was widely rejected. And now the Harmony Express is another blue reminder of how quickly cloud-based gadgets can turn into a useless piece of plastic.
To ease the blow from the very abrupt shutdown, Logitech says it will trade someone’s Harmony Express remote for a Harmony Elite for free. “Harmony Elite is our flagship experience with a powerful programmable controller for AV and smart home control that works with other Amazon Alexa devices to enable voice control.”
But if that’s not good enough, the company is also willing to give a full refund to anyone who can demonstrate proof of purchase of their Harmony Express device. Refunds are handled through TransferWise.com and are estimated to take approximately five days after you provide that confirmation of receipt.
Customers have until December 31 to request an exchange for the Harmony Elite or a full refund, and Logitech says that owners of the product will continue to receive notifications and emails about the September 30 cut-off in the coming weeks.
If you had dared to buy the Harmony Express, you can go here for full details on the exchange / refund process.