A few years ago in, in an attempt to ground twitter in real world usefulness, there were ‘creative’ suggestions that your refrigerator would be tweeting you to remind you that you were running low on milk. Useful and the next thing you know the refrigerator will have an account at TescoDirect. The positioning of Twitter as a lightweight communication protocol now goes without saying on both a technical and social level, then along come Philips this week with the Hue Personal Wireless Lighting system. On offer: 3 lightbulbs and a wireless controller that lets you control the hue, intensity an schedule from your smartphone. Check out Ambience. You can choose the hues from your favourite photographs to help you ‘re-live’ the memories. Also note the ‘Community’ being created around what is at this point a seriously niche device. It’s not cheap as you will note from reviews – just under €200 for a start pack.
Is this going to far, selling too high? It’s interesting to consider Philips as an innovation company. From the street level credit to them for delivering on concepts and putting them onto the store shelves to see how people react. I have a couple of their earlier lighting experiments and much of their more mainstream gear, let alone their non-wireless light bulbs. I find it fascinating that they take to production what other companies leave to the focus groups.
When does the personal intervention start to give way to automated personalisation? You smartphone is learning a lot about you. Mood sensing based on semantic analysis of your consolidated communications could cut out the middleman and simply utilise the smartphone of some other proxy as your mood hub tweaking different aspects of your life automatically to suit your perceived mood and state of mind. Fanciful wanderings. I note that the Lifx wifi enabled light bulb was one of the most oversubscribed Kickstarter projects last year taking a similar (create a wifi mesh rather than rely on a dedicated controller) concept.