The Google OnHub was launched one year ago with a lot of implicit promises about smart home functionality. We never saw any of that materialize, though the router has gotten more capable. Now there's finally some smart home integration happening in the form of a Philips Hue partnership. Oh hey, guess what still doesn't work. Yep, the USB port.
All of these "smart" devices in our lives sure are creating a mess for us. We have to remember to charge them and take the time to set them up properly, every gadget has its own app on our phone, and none of them seem to be able to communicate effortlessly with each other unless they come from the same manufacturer, and even then... That's where Yonomi comes into the picture.
With one app, Yonomi aims to solve the mess that is our connected life. It integrates with some of the big players out there, like Nest, Jawbone, Sonos, Philips Hue, and Belkin WeMo, as well as your Android phone or tablet.
Philips hue lights are already pretty cool. People can control these bulbs, which come in various colors and sizes, using a phone or tablet. That alone makes the product convenient and great for showing off. But at the end of the day, merely turning lights on and off with a mobile device and changing their colors ranks a 4, maybe 5, on the my-friend-is-a-wizard scale. To really impress people, give the Huey Android app a download, then sit guests down in front of a TV and blow their minds.
This handy piece of software links Philips hue lights up with the action taking place on-screen.
Philips has been slowly adding various bulbs to its Hue lineup over the last several months, bringing even more smartphone-controlled lighting scenarios to users. The entire concept of Hue is freakin' awesome as it is – lights that can change to any color or, um, hue on the fly – so any addition to the family is really just the icing on the cake.
Today, the company is announcing three new products to its hue line: 3D-printed luminaries, lux, and tap. The names aren't all that explanatory, here's a breakdown of each.
3D-printed luminaries: These are essentially decorative lights with hue-compatibility, so they look good aesthetically, and have the power of a hue bulb.
Smartphone-controlled lighting. That is one of the true signs that the future is now, ladies and gentlemen. And Philips is leading the charge with its [slightly expensive] Hue light bulbs. So, how do these bad boys work? Let's cut to video:
It's pretty simple, actually. So, when you buy a Hue starter pack (... $200), you get three light bulbs, and a wireless bridge device. The bridge, acting as a, well, bridge, links the light bulbs to your existing wireless router. The bulbs communicate with the bridge using ZigBee Light Link (an open, low-power Wi-Fi standard), and the bridge then communicates with your wireless network, which then communicates with your Android phone or tablet.