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Google TV’s hardware partner Logitech have published a preview on their blog of how the Harmony Link software will work with Google TV and they are promising, like Google, to create an open platform for third party developers to create applications.
What is Harmony Link? Basically, it’s the brains that allow Logitech to take in all kinds of signals and send them out as infrared (IR) commands. For instance, ff you have a device that uses a remote control, chances are that it uses firmware that employs IR. This means that your companion box can talk to all of your home entertainment devices because technically, anything that can take an IR signal can be controlled through Harmony Link.
According to the blog, there are three key reasons why Harmony Link is important:
The first is that we want your Google TV experience to be as seamless as possible. When you search for something, you want to click on it and have it come up – even if that involves changing the channel on your cable or satellite set-top box or changing a setting on your AV receiver. Harmony Link lets you control your devices no matter what brand they are, allowing Google TV to seamlessly integrate with your devices and not just the content listing.
The second is the power you can have over your devices. With Harmony Link in the box, you can use the included controller to turn your devices off and on, control the volume, enter a channel number and more. As I mentioned before, the companion box will also let you use a free app for your Android phone or iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad device that can talk to Harmony Link – basically giving your personal devices the kind of control that only a remote like the Logitech Harmony 900 could give you before. Yes, a free app plus your new companion box will give you the same control over your home entertainment system as our most powerful Logitech Harmony remote.
The third reason is what we’re most excited about – and it’s the things we haven’t created yet. We’re dedicated to open platforms because we’ve seen that a large community of developers and visionaries is better at driving the future than any one company alone can invent. And the Logitech companion box will have all the possibilities of invention built right in.
GtvHub writes the following:
In a nutshell, Harmony Link allows for the control of any device that receives standard infrared (IR) signals, meaning the user can control any aspect of their TV, set-top box, DVD player, etc, from a HL powered device. Anyone who is familiar with the Logitech Harmony universal remote will have an idea of what to expect from this software. Another outstanding feature will be the mobile app, which will allow iPhone and Android smartphone users to control their devices right from their phone. Logitech is also emphasizing Harmony Link’s open platform, which will allow for third party development as well. There is no word on whether or not the mobile app will offer a Slingbox style service or allow users to set their devices to record remotely, but there is definitely some cool stuff on the way from Logitech.