Logitech sees growth opportunity, seeks to build more HomeKit, Google Now devices

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Long-time accessory maker is looking to widen its involvement into the home automation and "internet of things" marketplaces, rather than throwing in as a development partner solely with Apple, Amazon, or Google.




After a market recovery earning the company $1 billion in sales, with 50% margins, Logitech is seeking deeper entry into the burgeoning home automation market. Not straying far from its existing product lineup at first, one product Bloomberg claims is in the works is a line of home surveillance cameras tied a Logitech cloud service.

"There's no way these big players are going to want to be in every little puddle around their operating systems," said Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell of the move. "We've always been in categories where the big players are."

Logitech will likely not have an omnibus release, spanning the entire range of home automation gear, however. According to Bloomberg, the company is spending it's relatively meager $150 million research and development budget on stressing design in just a few areas to start.

"The smart home looks difficult," said researcher Torsten Sauter. "They have no software, no ecosystem. Logitech is much more a design company than a tech company."

To jump-start the development, Logitech may very well buy its way into the category. As part of the company's financial recovery, in 2008 it purchased Ultimate Ears, which is now 15 percent of the company's sales.

So far, Logitech products are walking the line between companies. Some of Logitech's UE products can utilize Apple's Siri and Google Now, and some of its remote controls leverage Amazon's Alexa.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 858member
    How long until stereo receivers & TVs boast HomeKit compatibility? Logitech would be the designer of the remote UI and hardware. Apple would provide the common interface protocol to A/V components.

    Is this the way (aside from high-end, professionally programmed systems) that we can FINALLY move to the promised land of direct query of device states and direct commands (and ability to confirm execution of said commands) via data connection.

    I cannot believe it is 2017 and I still have a little computer attached to an IR emitter that tries to remember if the TV is on and what input it is set to, instead of just QUERYING THE DAMN TV!
    edited March 2017 John Lockwoodrepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,125member
    The Harmony line is a good start to build off of. The Pop is a product that Logi should not waste time on. 

    There is Room for the connective pieces needed for HA. Logi could overtake Wemo and expand into more accessories. The Circle is a great start. They need an outdoor version. 

    Sensors would be easy to get into as well. 
  • Reply 3 of 13
    n2macsn2macs Posts: 44member
    Logitech would be a great acquisition target for Apple. They had better move fast before Google or Amazon beats them to the punch.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    polymnia said:
    How long until stereo receivers & TVs boast HomeKit compatibility? Logitech would be the designer of the remote UI and hardware. Apple would provide the common interface protocol to A/V components.

    Is this the way (aside from high-end, professionally programmed systems) that we can FINALLY move to the promised land of direct query of device states and direct commands (and ability to confirm execution of said commands) via data connection.

    I cannot believe it is 2017 and I still have a little computer attached to an IR emitter that tries to remember if the TV is on and what input it is set to, instead of just QUERYING THE DAMN TV!
    You are so right, especially as these days the overwhelming majority of AV devices - especially TVs have network interfaces as standard.

    Sadly the impression is strongly given by all AV makers that they still live in the 70s - almost pre-Internet, their user interfaces suck, they generally are incapable of offering software upgrades of even the most basic level and their using the term smart TV is an oxymoron.
    StrangeDaysjoeljones
  • Reply 5 of 13
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 858member
    polymnia said:
    How long until stereo receivers & TVs boast HomeKit compatibility? Logitech would be the designer of the remote UI and hardware. Apple would provide the common interface protocol to A/V components.

    Is this the way (aside from high-end, professionally programmed systems) that we can FINALLY move to the promised land of direct query of device states and direct commands (and ability to confirm execution of said commands) via data connection.

    I cannot believe it is 2017 and I still have a little computer attached to an IR emitter that tries to remember if the TV is on and what input it is set to, instead of just QUERYING THE DAMN TV!
    You are so right, especially as these days the overwhelming majority of AV devices - especially TVs have network interfaces as standard.

    Sadly the impression is strongly given by all AV makers that they still live in the 70s - almost pre-Internet, their user interfaces suck, they generally are incapable of offering software upgrades of even the most basic level and their using the term smart TV is an oxymoron.
    To extend on the idea of network connectivity being standard on TVs: In my A/V setup EVERY device (except the turntable) has ethernet and most also have WiFi. That's an A/V Receiver, Sonos Connect, BluRay Player, AppleTV & Smart TV.

    Everything is in place, hardware-wise.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,171member
    Logitech is much more a design company than a tech company.

    Now where have I heard that before?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    Did they not change their name to Logi recently?
  • Reply 8 of 13
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 858member
    Did they not change their name to Logi recently?
    The mark of a truly successful rebrand…
  • Reply 9 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member
    n2macs said:
    Logitech would be a great acquisition target for Apple. They had better move fast before Google or Amazon beats them to the punch.
    Why? What do they offer? Apple already knows how to make great hardware, and Apple isn't super interested in accessories.
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 10 of 13
    n2macsn2macs Posts: 44member
    n2macs said:
    Logitech would be a great acquisition target for Apple. They had better move fast before Google or Amazon beats them to the punch.
    Why? What do they offer? Apple already knows how to make great hardware, and Apple isn't super interested in accessories.
    Apple dislikes accessories so much that they paid 3 billion dollars for an accessory company called beats. Hum.....
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Herbivore2Herbivore2 Posts: 362member
    Home automation is very nice. I have installed an array of z-wave controlled outlets, switches, thermostats and even the blinds and garage door openers. 

    The real issue is maintaining security. Hence I have a dedicated Mac Mini locked behind a robust firewall that I vpn to from my iPhone. Once in, I Remote Desktop to a PPC mini protected with a password. That machine is not accessible directly from the internet and controls my home network. Unfortunately the PPC mini runs an older version of OSX. There is no automation software built for the classic Mac OS or I would be using my old wallstreet powerbook to control the network on OS 9.
    When I finish the task, I close out the Remote Desktop and then the VPN. It's a bit of a hassle, but far safer than having the devices all connected directly to the internet such that someone can hack into the thermostat or open the garage doors. 

    At home, I have several Logitech 890 pro remotes which control my media system and the home automation network. I don't need nor do I want their new devices. 

    I will say that setting up a zwave network reminds me of setting up scsi devices in the old days of the Mac OS. There is a little bit of "magic" and prayer involved, but with effort and dedication it can be done. I do understand the allure of Home Kit and the convenience offered. It's Apple and they do take security seriously. I still don't like the idea of having each device directly connected to the internet, however. In fact, I might pass up on the whole idea of IoT. Not certain I want someone hacking into the IoT chip in say my refrigerator and turning up the temperature or even turning the appliance off completely. I believe the hackers that breached Target's customers credit card accounts attacked a low priority security system controlling the HVAC system. Once in, they were able to gain access to the server that held the account information of thousands of people. No thanks. 
  • Reply 12 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member
    n2macs said:
    n2macs said:
    Logitech would be a great acquisition target for Apple. They had better move fast before Google or Amazon beats them to the punch.
    Why? What do they offer? Apple already knows how to make great hardware, and Apple isn't super interested in accessories.
    Apple dislikes accessories so much that they paid 3 billion dollars for an accessory company called beats. Hum.....
    Beats had several advantages -- the most profitable accessory for the iphone, a music streaming platform, and powerful media contacts. What does Logitech have that is similar? Remotes, keyboards, and no-name executives don't offer much. 
    edited March 2017 lolliver
  • Reply 13 of 13
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 858member
    n2macs said:
    n2macs said:
    Logitech would be a great acquisition target for Apple. They had better move fast before Google or Amazon beats them to the punch.
    Why? What do they offer? Apple already knows how to make great hardware, and Apple isn't super interested in accessories.
    Apple dislikes accessories so much that they paid 3 billion dollars for an accessory company called beats. Hum.....
    Beats had several advantages -- the most profitable accessory for the iphone, a music streaming platform, and powerful media contacts. What does Logitech have that is similar? Remotes, keyboards, and no-name executives don't offer much. 
    They do have their database of remote codes for every remote controllable product on the market going back years. There is some value there.
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