Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The One to Watch: Logitech Harmony One Introduces Significant Evolution

Harmony improves UX and UI ...

"Today at the Consumer Electronics Show, Logitech (SWX:LOGN) (NASDAQ:LOGI) unveiled the Harmony(R) One advanced universal remote control, marking a significant leap in the evolution of the best-selling line of Harmony remotes. Offering the same one-touch, activity-based control as other Harmony remotes, the Harmony One makes controlling home entertainment even easier with a full-color touch screen, an intuitive button layout and an exceptionally comfortable user-friendly design. The product has received the CES 2008 Design and Engineering Award: Best of Innovations in Home-Entertainment Accessories.

As home-entertainment systems become more sophisticated and complex, people are often frustrated and overwhelmed by the need to have multiple devices, the frequent necessity for family members to have written instructions to control the system (otherwise known as a cheat sheet) and the growing number of remotes on the coffee table. And, according to industry research, more and more families will face this problem. IMS Research´s report, "The Future of High-Definition TV - 2007 Edition," forecasts strong worldwide growth for HDTV over the next four years (nearly 148 million HDTV households by 2011). And in the U.S. alone, consumer spending on digital-living products is on track to hit $300 billion in 2010 (Parks Associates, "Digital Living Forecast," Dec. 2006).

"The Harmony advanced universal remotes have been highly successful at providing easy, one-touch access to favorite activities, such as watching TV, playing a video game, or listening to music - all with a single remote," said Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech´s Harmony business unit. "To further improve our lineup, while developing Harmony One, we sought to intimately understand the interaction between people, their remotes, and their entertainment systems. In fact, Harmony One is the result of our most comprehensive research and development undertaking ever - more than 20,000 hours."

A key outcome of Logitech´s research is a 2.2-inch color touch screen that uses capacitive technology, which responds to tiny electrical charges from the fingertips. Capacitive touch-screen technology is more durable, compared to touch screens that respond to pressure. The color touch screen provides control of any home entertainment device with an infrared receiver, including digital video recorders, high-definition televisions and many household appliances. The Harmony One remote´s touch screen can also display icons of specified TV stations for quick access to favorite stations.

Based on a customer survey, Logitech also determined that it could improve its customers´ experience with the Harmony remote by creating a more intuitive button layout. For improved ease of use, the Harmony One remote provides an intelligent and intuitive button layout divided into four distinct zones (numbers; traditional DVD controls; D-pad with volume and channel up/down; and on-screen menu buttons) for seamless control of today´s most popular home entertainment devices. Only the 40 most-essential buttons appear on the Harmony One remote - so people can find the right one quickly. Each button is individually sculpted, providing useful tactile cues so people can operate the remote by touch, rather than relying on sight."    (Continued via Wallstreet Online)    [Usability Resources]

Logitech Harmony One - Usability, User Interface Design

Logitech Harmony One

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