The Internet of Things comes to lighting.
Philips’ new Hue system brings the Internet of Things to lighting, turning the basic bulb into a “technology platform,” as Geek.com puts it in an extensive review. Hue comprises three networked LED bulbs that fit in standard sockets and a controller, along with a smartphone app that serves as the user interface.
Each bulb contains 11 LEDs in three colors, which can combine to create up to 16 million shades. Users can also control brightness and create an assortment of lighting designs. The companion app offers design templates, such as a reading setting. It also lets users match lighting hues to colors in photographs; schedule off and on times; fade lights up or down over a range of three to nine minutes (making for a gradual wakeup call); and control lights while they’re away. See a demonstration here. Philips, which is selling the system through Apple for $199, has also created an open source platform so developers can piggyback off the system. Meanwhile, a similar smart-bulb system from LIFX is just winding down a Kickstarter drive, racking up $1.3 million from 9,000-plus backers—vastly exceeding the goal of $100,000.