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Philips opens its Hue lightbulbs API to developers

WiFi connected lights can be controlled by apps on any device
Mon Mar 11 2013, 13:20
philips hue light bulbs

DUTCH ELECTRONICS FIRM Philips launched a software developer programme today for its Hue web connected lightbulbs, so third party developers can create applications that use light to communicate with devices.

"In publishing Hue's open application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as releasing guides and libraries in an iOS software developer's kit, Philips reinforces its commitment to helping the developer community start programming with Hue," the firm said.

"This move opens the playing field for third party developers to create new, exciting applications using light, enabling Hue to communicate with a variety of devices and apps."

Launched in Apple stores last October, Hue is the name given to Philips' range of multi-colour LED lightbulbs that are controlled by mobile devices via a WiFi bridge that hooks up to an internet router. In effect, this allows users to control lighting colours for different moods via apps on iOS or Android mobile devices.

Today's news opens the playing field for app developers looking to use Hue to create moods or lighting effects around the home using apps on any device, such as while playing a game, for instance.

"Already external developers have created apps that integrate Hue with music, resulting in an immersive surround sound and surround lighting experience that allows the lighting to change to the beat of the music," Philips said. "Developers have also created scheduling applications that can integrate with a phone's calendaring system."

The developer platform for Philips' Hue bulbs is available at The firm said that developers with questions about programming can join Hue's developer forum at Kevin Toms, designer and developer advocate of Hue's software developers' kit will be on hand provide technical support.

Though its not something everyone will be interested in or able to afford, Hue starter kits comprising three bulbs and a Smartbridge are available at Apple stores for £179. Additional Hue bulbs can also be purchased for £49.95.

Check out the video demo below of Hue in action. µ 


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