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