Home Lighting Gets Smarter

Sridhar Kumaraswamy, SVP & GM, (HUE) Home Systems, Philips Lighting
Sridhar Kumaraswamy, SVP & GM, (HUE) Home Systems, Philips Lighting

Sridhar Kumaraswamy, SVP & GM, (HUE) Home Systems, Philips Lighting

Our analog lives are being swept away at a breathtaking pace by a potent combination of digital technologies, and the Home, in many ways, is an epitome of this change. It is also a stage where we are all at once players enacting and audience applauding this digital drama. We all expect rapid adoption of connected products and services to usher in an era of smartness that would make our homes safer, energy efficient, multidimensional and constantly nudge us towards making choices that enhance our wellbeing.

At Philips Hue, we believe that light has a central role to play in this emerging smart home scene. Home lighting is shifting from illuminating spaces to holistically enriching people's lives. The trajectory of technology developments in diverse fields have combined uniquely over the last decade to serve as an enabler for Hue to fulfil the visual, emotional and physiological lighting needs of people in their homes.

Light becomes Personal

Home lighting has always been about providing sufficient illumination for the tasks and activities that people were engaged in. As the shift from conventional light sources to LED was underway a decade ago, the potential of digitally manipulating the intensity and color of lights was becoming clear. With the advent of this digital light, and a deep understanding of the effect of light on human behavior, it was now possible to shed just the right kind of light for any activity. Digital light thereby enabled personalization.

Digital Light also paved the path for digital interfaces, which in turn made both personalizing light effects across groups of lights and recalling them simple. 

Lighting could now be designed around people and be experienced at the push of a button, swipe of an app or a voice command to a virtual assistant.

Based on timers, schedules, and sensors, Hue took this one step further and made lighting more intuitive. Your lights can go on at sunrise, welcome you home, guide you in the middle of the night without waking, turn red (in your hallway) on a rainy day to serve a reminder for you to take your umbrella, know when we enter or leave a room, change in accordance to daylight and so on. Seen this way, the digital transformation of home lighting that Hue is spearheading is about not technology per se, but driving greater benefits from light in the context of people's life.

 Lighting could now be designed around people and be experienced at the push of a button, swipe of an app or a voice command to a virtual assistant 

Friends Matter in a Platform Play

The smart home, thus far, has been characterised by single products with clear value propositions, and Hue has led the way in the lighting domain. It is, however, impossible to overemphasize the need for complementary devices to work together to deliver compelling use cases.

Direct integrations such as with Nest cam or Vivint make your lights integral to your security system. Our recently announced partnership with Razer, the leading gaming peripherals brand, enables gamers to immerse themselves in their content and takes their performance to the next level. Sleep help applications, such as Sleepcycle, now wake people to a natural and refreshing sunrise rather than a jarring alarm. Even niche communities are transforming lives, as in the case of Convo, an application for the hearing impaired that transforms light into personalized ringtones.

What Really Matters

If you go by the evolution of smart home over the past decade, it is very difficult to say what the future has in store. With increasing consumer awareness, technologies maturing rapidly, security, and privacy considerations coming to the fore, strategies of different players in the ecosystem will remain emergent. In this scenario, it is the conviction that light is fundamentally interwoven with life and that rich lighting experiences will matter to people, coupled with deep capabilities to leverage technological developments in the embedded, mobile, cloud, social, big data, and AI domains that will enable us to stay at the forefront of smart home and IoT.

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