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What button do I press?

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 6 March 2008

A report commissioned by Logitech has claimed that households across Europe are now full of expensive technology that most people have no idea how to control. The report estimated that Europeans now have an incredible US$550 billion worth of consumer electronics and home entertainment technology crammed into their homes.

These products include TVs, HiFis, speakers, video and DVD players, digital recorders and satellite boxes. The report, undertaken for peripherals vendor Logitech by Lightspeed Research, claimed that in 24% of European households only one person knows how to control all the home technology.

The source of the problem, according to the Logitech commissioned study, seems to be the sheer complexity of technology in the home – 49% of households have five or more remote controls and 87% have three or more.

Yet one in four Europeans have a very untechnical solution to the problem: written instructions for their loved ones explaining how to control their system (otherwise known as a cheat sheet).

“We commissioned our study to establish the true gap between the money Europeans are investing in technology in their home and their ability to control that technology,” said Gregor Bieler, VP of Logitech’s consumer electronics unit in Europe.

“Today’s home entertainment systems are getting increasingly expensive and complex but people’s needs do not change – they just want their technology to work. The growth we see in our Harmony business demonstrates we have the perfect solution to this growing problem,” he added.

But fear not Europe’s technophobes: Logitech claims to have the answer with its range of Harmony advanced universal remote controls. The vendor claims that these products have quickly become the most popular brand of advanced universal remotes in the US marketplace, and a rapidly growing force in Europe, because of the platform’s simple one-touch activity control.

Users need only to press a single button and the Harmony remote will control all the technology devices necessary for them to watch TV, listen to music or record a film.

The market for learnable and pre-programmable remote controls has grown by 31% year on year in value terms across the three biggest markets of France, Germany and the UK, according to research house GfK. Remote controls, such as the Logitech Harmony remote, are fast replacing all the remote controls cluttering people’s coffee tables.

This growing market represents a strong growth sector for CE retailers within Europe and an attach sale opportunity for consumers purchasing big ticket items.

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May, 2021

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