Logitech's stance on local APIs


#1

Logitech has decided to remove a widely used local API of their Logitech Harmony hub. We’ve been tracking the story here. This has caused a lot of commotion among our users, and users of other smart home solutions, that integrated with the Logitech Harmony hub and all of a sudden were surprised with a broken smart home. Not a nice way to start the already busy holiday season!

Since it’s 2018, a lot of these discussions are playing out on Twitter. While browsing the discussions, we came across this statement by a senior manager for product marketing for Logitech Smart Home, Todd Walker:

Currently, we do not plan to add support for local control.

— Todd Walker (@ToddW_Logitech) December 19, 2018

We have a lot of opinions about this, but felt that they were appropriately covered by Twitter user, and contributor to Home Assistant, Jon Maddox:

You realize that any kind of device like this…with only cloud control…is an inferior experience right?

Why would you mandate the latency that round trip cloud requests incur? Please try harder to make the product better, not usurping more control over it.

— Jon Maddox (@maddox) December 19, 2018

The Harmony smart assistant skills are limited to 1 hub. Will you guys be resolving that?

Your official implementations of things we’ve accomplished ourselves, are actually inferior.

I think people would be less upset if the case was different.

— Jon Maddox (@maddox) December 19, 2018

Why should we buy more than one Harmony hub if only one of them works with Alexa? We utilized the local api to create our own supported experience that allows for private, secure, faster, and more than 1 hub.

That means we BUY more than 1 hub. That’s a really great thing.

— Jon Maddox (@maddox) December 19, 2018

And lastly, (to get it all off my chest 😄), locking down a local API and forcing users to a complete cloud solution is not more secure.

Home networks are trusted zones. Corporate clouds have proven time and time again to be revealed as less than secure.

— Jon Maddox (@maddox) December 19, 2018

I can be responsible for my own home network. I cannot be sure that yours is.

Consider embracing these users. Create an authenticated local API. Local control is the only guaranteed private, secure, and RELIABLE way to control the future of devices at home.

— Jon Maddox (@maddox) December 19, 2018


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2018/12/19/logitech-stance-on-local-api/

#2

Perfectly formulated by Jon. Unbelievable how not customer focused that harmony product owner must be.


#3

Perfect Response. It is pretty clear that the product manager has no idea about anything - probably so far removed from that development of the product that he doesn’t have a clue what is being developed and what customers want. Purely a talking head product marketing person.


#4

I’ve been reading tweets from people who are angry with Logitech removing local API access.
https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=Logitech%20local%20API&src=typd


#5

People, just start rating the Harmony products on Amazon and other online platforms with the rating they deserve for this. Maybe this way Logitech will understand how important that feature is.


#6

Posted my 1-star review on Amazon. Let’s see if they allow it to be posted.


#7

I’ve also left two 1-star reviews warning everybody about last events.

I don’t understand how a company is capable of crippling your product (that you’ve bought, it’s yours not theirs) and not offer any alternatives to the loss of functionality. What’s refraining them from leaving all our HUBs out of support at any given time?, them simply would say “we are sorry, from now on your Harmony HUB will only control devices you’ve set up already and will only launch activities also already set up, no further changes will be possible”…

Shame on you Logi, shame on you…


#8

Hey guys, Logitech used to be a really cool company, but in the later years they just became another corporate bafoon. If you are looking for an alternative, checkout Neeo smart remote, they have commited to smart home, and certainly have a local API, unfortunatly not working with Home Assistant yet. I’m not so good with coding but have plans to try to see if I can get them talking.


#9

Actually @Eldaria I think it already is supported (or at least started to be) I saw a few people using this with Home Assistant and a quick search show at least some else is working on this already
https://planet.neeo.com/t/q5ka39/home-assistant-integration


#10

The register have picked up on it :slight_smile:


#11

Nice @troy, I will have a look, although at a glance it seems nothing happened there for a year. And it also seems to go one way only to Control Homes Assistant from the Remote. But maybe it is a start. :wink:


#12

If NEEO wants to make a splash in this community, they would do an insane trade-in/up offer for Logitech Users. It would be a quick way to get a foothold in this community and assuming their product performs well, more sales through the influencers who are here.

I do think price-point is somewhat high though.


#13

My assumption is that this has nothing to do with customers, but rather customer data. If the hub will be forced to use cloud only, that means that Logitech or its partners will have data about all the users’ interactions, integrations, etc. Marketing that data is what drives so much of the internet today.


#14

Some good news:


#15

Ladies and Gentlemens we did it. Logitech seems to have opened on this issue. Logi_WillWong has updated the statement of logitech on the issue. You can see it in the thread on logitech forum.

Logitech Thread


#16

Indeed, we have made it possible for those who wish to continue using XMPP to do so, by manually installing a new FW version. Going forward, we will maintain this capability and suggest this path for anyone seeking local network control over your Harmony Hub.

See Will’s update along with instructions here. The January update Will mentions will simply make it easier to enable XMPP, vs the manual FW installation available now.

Apologies for the confusion the last few days.

Ian.


#17

@IanHarmony

Will this be upgraded to an offical support local API by logitech?
What about the second local API (Websockets that is used by the IOS App). The devs are planning to use this API for future realeases of HA. Wil this interface also be supported. As i understand this interface has more possibilities then XMPP.


#18

Hi jodur,

XMPP is the only option we are currently committed to maintaining for local control, and using other undocumented APIs may be subject to similar interruptions like we saw this week as future FW updates are rolled out. Our goal is not to play wack-a-mole with the community, hence the re-enabling of XMPP today.


#19

Thanx for the reply and the wisdom to recognize that there is a “driving” community who are using your product in a way, you didn’t foreseen by design or use case. It’s good to see Logitech realized they “overlooked/under estimated” the amount of customers and Influencers the “home control scene” has.


#21

I also had a reply on a Logitech forum post to the same effect. Good to see they’re listening to customer feedback.

Or maybe all of the 1 star Amazon reviews are having an effect!