We have talked about the Philips Hue LED lighting system several times over the last year or so, in fact we reviewed the system late last year. The Hue is Philips’ LED lighting system that replaces the standard incandescent bulbs in your home with more energy-efficient LED units that also have some smart features. This means not only will you save money on electricity, but you can also remotely control the lighting in your home via your smartphone.
One of the coolest features of the Hue system at launch was that using an application Philips offers running on your smartphone, you can control everything from the brightness of the light to the color of the light. Philips has now announced that it has launched the next generation Philips Hue app adding in all sorts of interesting new features for users of the lighting system.
The updated application allows users to control the light bulbs using smartphones or tablets and the control is available with more flexibility than with the older app. One of the new and interesting features of the application is a new Philips Hue channel on If This Then That. That channel allows the light system to access any application programming interface on the Internet so the light bulbs can act as informational gateways.
That sounds very complicated, but what it means is that the smart bulbs in your home can be set up to give you visual cues on things such as whether, stocks, sports scores, e-mail, social media, and more. Think about how useful that feature could be. For instance, if the first thing your kids always want to know in the morning is if it will rain today, you could set up a bulb in their room to glow purple if the weather forecast predicts rain and yellow if the forecast predicts Sun. You can also set the bulb to glow your favorite teams color if they won the game last night.
Version 1.1 of the new application also includes a geo-fencing and recurring schedules capability. The geo-fencing feature approximates the location of the smartphone or tablet controlling your system and controls the lights as the user’s smartphone or tablet approaches and leaves the home. That means you get close to your house with your smartphone in the pocket, the lighting system in your home can automatically turn on. It also means that as you walk out of your house the morning on your rush to work, the lights will automatically turn themselves off.
The system also has a new synchronous scenes feature that works in the background to allow large batches of Hue bulbs to change scenes in a smooth an immediate matter. The recurring schedules feature also allows users to schedule timer settings so daily and repeated behaviors of the lights, like waking up or going to sleep are supported without having to reset the bulbs each day. The app also has a new randomized setting to turn the lights off and on an unexpected times while the owner is away from home. The new app is available as an easy to apply update for Apple and Android device users. Individual Hue bulbs can be purchased for $59.
SOURCE: Meet Hue