This morning I woke up, got in front of my computer with a cup of coffee, went on my pulse.me website and read an amazing article about a brand new product designed by Phillips: hue. It is as Philips says, “a personal wireless lighting”. For me its pure magic.
It is basically a connected light bulb you can control from your iPhone or iPad. Basic feature you would think but hey! A connected light bulb? Who would have thought about that a few years ago. And you can do way more than just turning on and off your lights, this is where the added value of this product kicks in.
Are you one of this person who is really influenced by the weather? I am truly one of those, I hate greyish sky and rainy days. In such a scenario your only saviour is your house and its ambient light. Thanks to hue you can use a picture from your last vacation in the Caribbean stored on your iPhone and set the ambient light from it. How cool is that? You can also set the lights to gradually brighten up in the morning so you can prepare your coffee and start to get ready in a great atmosphere.
I’m sure you know the eye drop tool in photoshop? Well if you don’t it basically lets you pick any colour of an image so you can use it for whatever you want. You can do the same with hue. Launch the app, open a picture you love, let say this perfect summer evening when you where with your wife under a magnificent pink and blue sky in the south of France, point your finger to the sky and your lights will adjust themselves to recreate this ambiance. “You can paint with light” and that is pretty magical.
You are out of your house for many days, but you don’t know if you’ve turned off the lights? Classic situation right? If you use hue you won’t experience this problem anymore. You can remotely turn your lights on or off. And if you are paranoid like my dad, you can turn them on when you’re away in order for people (thieves?) to think you’re home. Or just before arriving home so you enter in a lighted house and not in complete darkness.
Another great feature I love is called lightrecipe. This features is based on studies made by Philips to see how the ambient light influences your productivity, health, and behaviour. You can choose among four different settings: relax, concentrate, energise, and reading. Whatever you’re doing you’ll be surrounded by a perfect lighting.
The only task you’ve got to perform to set the system is to plug a wireless bridge into your router and screw the bulbs in your lamps. After that you can set your iPhone or iPad app and start to use the system. You can name the light bulbs and adjust them individually of course. Oh and last but not least, hue can take care of your family. How? By using reverse signalling. For example if you buy hue for an elder person and the light hasn’t been switched on by a certain amount of time, you can ask the app to send a notification to your phone.
The bulbs are not cheap, the starter kit costs $199 (3 bulbs) and the extra one will cost you another $59 but they last for 15 years and consume 1/5 of the energy your regular light bulb would consume.
This is a really promising, exciting, and inspiring product. Indeed it makes your daily life better in an almost unnoticeable and magical way. And on top of that it makes you save energy and as a consequence, money. This product is available only in Apple stores so far.
After Withings and Nest products, your local Apple store in now selling hue and widen the range of connected objects available. Apple is really making an effort in trying to help the development of the Internet of Things market and that’s great news for this movement to have a partner like Apple.