SmartThings Community

What can ST do with the Harmony Remote?

Unfortunately, I have the Smart Control Remote and while it has a hub, I understand that ST and Harmony doesn’t support home automation with it. So, I’m thinking about upgrading to the Home Control.

I actually had it in my Amazon cart yesterday, until I read a review which state that you can only have 1 device mapped to each of the 4 buttons (even though the have a press and hold feature) which makes the remote itself limited. My Mini Remote at least lets me use both press and hold for different routines.

So, while I am still on the fence, I wanted to find out:

  • what ST could do with this remote to make it less limited then it is out of the box?
  • How are you using it?
  • Do you feel it is good purchase.
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The key to using SmartThings with Harmony isn’t in the buttons on the handheld remote. It’s in the Harmony concept of “activities.” An activity doesn’t have to be mapped to any of the physical buttons, so you can have a lot of them.

An activity can combine entertainment devices and home automation devices, so a single button press (or activation by a SmartThings timer or motion sensor or even voice command via Echo) could do something like “movie night”

Turn TV room lights off except for one Hue hulb blinking orange to indicate the movie is about to start
Dim kitchen lights to 50%
Start TV
Start Roku and turn to Netflix

So That’s the activity.

What would start it?

You could have any of the following trigger a Harmony activity:

Use a voice command if you have Echo integrated with SmartThings (“Alexa, turn on movie night”)
Toggle a button in the SmartThings mobile app
Tap a widget button on your phone or smartwatch
Walk past a motion sensor but only on Saturday night between 6:45 pm and 7:00 pm
Reach a specific time (30 minutes after sunset), but only if a specific person is home
Hit a button on the minimote
Unlock the front door if a specific person is arriving
etc

So basically by itself Logitech Harmony can do fixed schedule timers or buttons on the remote or taps on activity choices in their phone app.

Adding SmartThings lets you extend that two ways. Now you can have a Harmony activity also start/stop devices controlled by SmartThings. And you can use SmartThings events, which are much more complex than Harmony time schedules, to initiate Harmony activities.

Did that help?

I use mine mostly for voice control of my A/V components, but that’s just what’s most valuable for me. Of course that also requires having an Echo integrated with SmartThings.

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Well, I just got Echo Saturday. Almost was planning on returning it, but now finding all sorts of things I can do with ST, and now Harmony. I guess it is time to order.

How else do folks have their harmony setup?

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@JDRoberts, just to verify, this can not be done with the Harmony Smart Control?

Honestly, I don’t know.

When I got mine, it only worked with the Harmony Home Hub, but since then Logitech has added the feature to many of their other remotes. I rely on text to speech and the Harmony website is horrible to navigate so I just haven’t kept up with the other models.

But there are many people using Harmony in the community, someone should know, or you can just ask Harmony support. The SmartThings/Harmony integration is an official one.

the harmony smart control (with Hub) should totally work with ST after a software update on the harmony side.
no need to buy the home control version.

the update is free by the way, see link

https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/harmony-software-upgrade-4-x13

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@Ezra, that link is bad. Do you have another. I tried to add SmartThings to the remote earlier and it said it was not compatible.

sorry my bad, hope this works,
https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/harmony-software-upgrade-4-x

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@Ezra, Thanks! You saved me $130. Just cancelled my Amazon order and am currently upgrading my remote. Thanks again.

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no problem, good luck setting it up, :+1:

I just got my smartthings, so still learning alot. I was able to get my harmony smart control and ST together and it works fine on the harmony end. I guess my firmware was already up to date because it worked right away.
However in ‘things’ the harmony only shows end activity and refresh. I expected to see all the activities. I was able to do a smart app to shut down at a certain time, it works great, and all the activities were available to choose from in the smartapp.
Is this how it’s supposed to be in the android smartthings app?
Also @realsol, how did you go about ordering the home control simple remote? I couldn’t locate it.
Thanks

In my eyes . . . Not a right lot other than activities . . . But i find when i end one activity it actually ends them all, not just the one you want… as it doesnt like the idea of multiple activities running and once (totally harmonys fault because there slack as can be and always have been haha)

They really need to buck up there ideas and open up the api more, but that also opens up a lot of things that can loose them revenue so it seems unlikely they ever will…

There is a backdoor i found :wink: and others sort of dismissed at first glance as if it got mainstream available it could potentially be locked down, however that could and would open up the functionality of mapping the buttons on a harmony remote into smartthings as momentary switches and obviously every button on the remote can then be mapped to one of 270,000 devices harmomy support anddddd there functonality via harmony, which would work nice running along side the activities functionality - so you could esentially launch an activity and then easily pause play mute rewind fast forward etc without having to launch and create 101 activities (however im trying to identifiy a developer willing to look more into it - maybe @jody.albritton)

Having said all that i have harmony setup (ultimate home hub and touch remote) andi use it to the best i can and im happy with it overall, i just dream of better things for it . . . Im fairly lucky though as i can currently do the pause / mute / play etc etc via a samsung tv integration someome made on here via ip control so i use that to do what i wish harmony could . . . However i wish others could also hence identifying the harmony backdoor . . .

Thats just my view, for what its worth?!?!

The first step is to connect the Harmony hub as a device using the Harmony Connect smartapp. It sounds like you’ve done that.

The second step is to use a different smartapp, Harmony triggers, to set up the connections to the activities. :sunglasses:

Here’s the FAQ for that. (This is a clickable link)

As usual, SmartThings is powerful, but not intuitive.

Just make sure it’s on the latest firmware, and you’ll be good to go. I have that model and the Elite, and both work with ST.

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Thanks everyone for your help. Amazon was just getting ready to ship my Home Control remote when I canceled. Upgraded my Smart remote and got ST paired with it. Now the fun starts! :smile:

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Thanks very much. I think I must have found the triggers because I have one set up to shut everything down at 0830 after everyone is out of the house. It works great.
I guess I was looking for a button in the things to just turn on the TV remotely for my technology challenged mother when she’s watching our kids.
Not really a big deal as my 4 year old can probably just show her.
Thanks again.

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Create a virtual switch on
https://graph.api.smartthings.com
Then link an action to the Status of the switch ( On for On tv, Off for Off)

You could do that with a virtual switch. Just have turning on the virtual switch trigger the Harmony activity.

I have a “room” in SmartThings called “Entertainment Center” which is nothing but virtual switches to run different Harmony activities.

You can also then put turning the virtual switch on into a routine and then make that a widget on the phone if you want to make it even simpler. :smile: