Starting tomorrow you can walk into your local Apple Store and buy…light bulbs. Yes, light bulbs, not just regular light bulbs, that would be very un-Apple, these are the new hue LED lights that, get this, connect to your router so you can control them with an app.
While you might at first scoff at the idea (and the price tag—$200 for three bulbs plus controller, $60 for each additional bulb), look at what these bulbs can do:
- Save your favorite light scenes for each room or time of day and recall them in an instant
- Use any photo on your phone as a color palette to paint your room with light and bring your memories back to life
- Tune white light from warm candlelight to vibrant, cool white light
- Create ambience or complement your decor with the colors of the rainbow
- Control and monitor your lights remotely when not at home for security and peace of mind
- Set timers to help manage your daily routine
- Let light wake you up refreshed or help your loved ones fall asleep
What I think is cool is the idea of tuning the light to match your needs. Need dimmer light for relaxing or have lights slowly turn up (or down) for sleeping and waking up, these can do it. Yes, I grant you, right now I think these are in the “really cool, but I’m not going to rush out and buy them” territory, but…
It’s the potential here that is really more exciting. Why shouldn’t we be able to control household things with an app? Why couldn’t I turn on my oven and start dinner from my office (I really could have used that function this weekend)? Why shouldn’t I get information on my fridge (like when something needs cleaning or replacement)?
Philips has worked out a deal with Apple to have these bulbs exclusively in the stores (no word on which countries, but I have an email in to find out—I’ll update here), which for a consumer product like lightbulbs (not known for having a cool factor) is…interesting. Almost makes me wonder what other iOS facilitated things we’ll see in the stores.
More info can be found at Meethue.com … and there’s a video to give you a taste of what hue can do (I like the sleeping, waking, working settings myself).
Update: Thanks everyone for catching my extra “Ls” in Philips. Doh!