Lightbulbs that talk to you may not sound like the very first thing your smart home needs, but LightFreq believes they’ll help give its color-changing speaker lamps an edge over Sonos, hue, and others. The crowdfunded bulbs have already more than tripled their Kickstarter goal of $50k with time to spare, and so are adding voice notifications to the feature list.
That will mean the LightFreq bulbs will be able to not only flash to notify you of alerts and reminders, but actually speak to you too. For instance, calls could be heralded with “Incoming Call!” or messages with the reminder of “New email!”
Similarly, there’ll be support for custom messages. LightFreq suggests telling the bulb to give a spoken reminder of when a particular TV show is about to start, or if you need to remember to take the recycling out the following morning.
Finally, there’ll be things like weather and traffic updates that can be read out through the speakers.
LightFreq tries to tick a few of the common home automation boxes in one fell swoop, a replacement for regular light bulbs that not only changes color, like Philips’ hue, but includes a wireless speaker for HD audio.
Music can be streamed over WiFi or Bluetooth (the latter supports two bulbs simultaneously, for stereo sound; over WiFi, the goal is to have up to fifty bulbs working at once), and the music and light can follow a smartphone or tablet around the home.
Of course, hitting your crowdfunding goal is just the start of things, and LightFreq still needs to actually go into production before backers can start getting their bulbs. That’s expected to happen in February 2015.