Logitech began selling the Harmony Link hub in 2011… and now the company has announced that if you have one it’ll stop working on March 16, 2018.
The Harmony Link is a device that lets you use an iPhone, iPad, or Android device as a universal remote. It can control TVs, cable boxes, DVD players and other gadgets. But it’s an internet-connected device… and since Logitech is shutting down the cloud service that powers the Harmony Link, it’ll effectively stop working in a few months.
Update: Logitech has changed course, and now promises to offer free upgrades to a newer model for all Harmony Link users.
The rest of the original article continues below.
Logitech is telling folks who own a product that’s still under warranty that they can upgrade to a newer Harmony Hub for free. But if you’e got an out-of-warranty device, the best Logitech is doing is offering a 35 percent discount on the new model.
The company is making no promises that it won’t remotely disable the Harmony Hub in a few years though.
With a growing number of household gadgets relying on cloud services, it’s likely that we’ll see this sort of thing happen more and more often. In some ways, I suppose remotely bricking a device might be more responsible than just ceasing to offer updates at all. It’s kind of sobering to think of all the WiFi routers in the world that will never be updated to protect users from the latest security vulnerabilities (I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of people who haven’t bought a new router in 10+ years).
Still, I don’t blame annoyed customers who feel like they were just “renting” equipment from Logitech when they thought they were buying it.