Craig Federighi unveils Apple’s HomeKit home-automation initiative. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
In the not-so-distant future, we’ll use smartphones to control nearly everything around our homes. We already have smart light bulbs, thermostats, locks and appliances, but we lack a central platform for all these devices.
That’s all going to change this fall when Apple releases iOS 8 with HomeKit, an important new protocol for developers. This will create the kind of universal platform that could revolutionize home automation.
We’re big fans of the Philips Hue line of smart lightbulbs controllable with a slick, full-featured iOS app, but there’s no doubt it’s a pricey proposition for most people, with a single Hue bulb costing as much as $60.
If you want smart lighting in your home for about half the price, then, pay attention to what LG is doing. They have just announced their own smart bulb system called the LG Smart Lighting system, and each bulb will cost just $32.
Here at Cult of Mac, we’re huge fans of Philips Hue LED lightbulbs and Minecraft. Any hack, then, that mashes together the two and we’re in… especially if there’s a father delighting his ten year old, Minecraft-obsessed son at the end!
Which is why Jim Rutherford’s Hue/Minecraft hack is so awesome. It uses the Hue, Minecraft and an iPad to make the lights around you correspond to the game’s pixellated day cycles.
LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – Y’know how we said something or other about how iHome had an avalanche of new products? Yeah, forget we said that; the amount of new products at the Philips fort (really, they had, like, an encampment) made the iHome avalanche look like a powder dusting. And amazingly, most of it is actually worth talking about. Here’re the highlights from our booth tour.
Philips has joined the likes of JBL by selling Lightning-compatible speaker docks for Apple’s latest iOS devices. Today Philips announced not one, but four new speaker docks with Lightning connectors. Each speaker set serves a different purpose, ranging from a nightstand dock with alarm to a portable speaker.
These speakers should start hitting retail channels this month, but Philips hasn’t given any pricing info yet.
One of the better Yuletide traditions is the venerable holiday Advent Calendar, in which each day of December leading up to Christmas is marked off on a special calendar by opening its corresponding door to find a small gift, toy or chocolate squirreled away inside.
This year, we here at Cult of Mac decided we wanted to give our readers their very own Apple-themed advent calendar, filled with the year’s best apps, gadgets, stories and other curios. So each day in December, we’re going to lovingly peel back the door on the Cult of Mac 2012 Advent Calendar to reveal another delicious morsel, something really special that came out this year that we think every one of you should enjoy.
What’s behind the door for Day 4? It’s bright and shiny. It even changes colors whenever you want it to. It’s the Philips Hue smart LED lightbulb.
Lightbulbs are boring. Yes, they provide an important service to the world, but when was the last time that you got really excited to go out and buy some new lightbulbs? Probably never. But Philips’ new Hue LED lightbulbs are actually incredibly cool and will change your blasé opinion on lighting fixtures.
The new Hue bulbs revealed today by Philips are wirelessly controlled by your iOS device. You can turn them on or off from your iPhone as well as change their color even if you’re not at your house. The Hue app will select the perfect lighting for your mood or activity or let you adjust the lightning in a room based on one of your favorite photos.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to be getting in on the portable Bluetooth speaker game. Now the ante has been upped by the venerable Dutch consumer electronic company Philips, and the offering is a pretty good one.
Like the JamBox which inspired this whole market segment, the Shoqbox (as it is named) is a small rectangular “candy-bar” style speaker with stereo drivers and a Bluetooth radio. The difference is that this one has been ruggedized.
Philips has released a new iOS app for the iPad 2 that allows you to measure both your heart rate and breaking rate using only your device’s camera. Unlike similar apps that require additional accessories, this one claims to get its results from “the color of your face” and “the motion of your chest.”