Logitech has announced the Harmony Express, a universal voice remote that will control a home theater or entertainment system with Amazon Alexa built-in. ‘Press-and-Ask’ is the function which will allow users to watch TV, access streaming apps or change channel.

“We designed Harmony Express as an entirely reimagined Harmony experience for an entirely new kind of Harmony user,” said Rory Dooley, general manager of Logitech Home. “Harmony remotes are renowned for managing complex entertainment setups and merging the capabilities of multiple remotes into one. And our loyal users love this flexibility. Harmony Express simplifies the experience with a remote that harnesses the power of voice to make it easy for everyone in the household to access the entertainment experiences they want. Whether Harmony Express is the first Alexa in the home or one of many, this will be simple enough for every user. And we mean everyone.”

The remote will feature the most frequently used entertainment controls, and there is a dedicated Alexa button to engage the voice service. Logitech says the system is compatible with the major cable and satellite TV providers and media streaming platforms. The new remote with voice commands can work with a TV, cable box, gaming console, or sound system. Some of the functionality includes turning entertainment devices on or off (inside closed media cabinets too) going straight to TV channels, launching streaming apps, asking when TV programs are scheduled, and hearing news or controlling other smart devices.

“We’re thrilled to see Logitech simplifying the home theater experience by bringing the convenience of Alexa to its Harmony Express remote,” said Pete Thompson, VP of the Alexa Voice Service. “With Alexa built-in, you can easily search and navigate content, control smart devices, access thousands of skills, and more – all you need is your voice.”

The mobile app includes a remote finder, which triggers a tone on the remote to locate it. If owners already have Alexa devices, they can also ask Alexa to find a lost remote. Harmony Express is available now in the US on Amazon.com and Logitech.com for $249.99, and it will be available in Best Buy stores and at BestBuy.com shortly. For more information, visit Logitech.com.

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Martin Dew