Philips has today announced its first HomeKit-capable product, debuting the updated version 2.0 of its original Hue Bridge. With that, its line of Philips Hue lights are able to work with Apple’s home automation platform, allowing all existing and future Hue bulbs to be controlled with Siri voice commands, with the likes of “Turn lights red” can be used for specific colors etc.
Commands like “Set the lamp to 30 percent” can also be used fro dimming the new Hue bulbs. Lighting scenes that have long been available in the Philips Hue app can now be turned on using Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. With HomeKit integration, and entire household of lights can be manipulated with a single command.
Although most HomeKit apps support other HomeKit products, the Hue app will work a bit differently, which can be used to control the Hue line of lights and set up light-specific scenes, but it is not able to incorporate other HomeKit products. While the Hue lighting scenes will be made available in other HomeKit apps, though, it is possible to group the Hue lights with other products, suing one command to do things like unlock a door and turn on the lights at the same time.
Lighting is the most accessible aspect of the connected home, and as the lighting expert for the Internet of Things we are taking connected lighting to the next phase,” said Eric Rondolat, Chief Executive Officer at Philips Lighting. “By integrating Philips Hue with Apple HomeKit, we are broadening people’s experience of light beyond what has been previously possible, providing seamless interoperability with other connected home devices.
About the new Hue Bridge 2.0, it is similar to the existing Bridge, but it is now square like the Apple TV rather than round. Philips is also debuting a new set of lights alongside with the new bridge.
The new Philips Hue bulbs are somewhat brighter at 800 lumens instead of 600 lumens. The original Hue Bridge will not be equipped with HomeKit capabilities as it does not have the required hardware, but Philips plans to continue to support it with software updates.
Original Hue Bridge owners will need to purchase a Hue Bridge 2.0 to completely access HomeKit, but will get a discount of $20 on the gadget.
Price-tag for the new Hue Bridge 2.0 goes with at $60, but customers who own an existing bridge can get it for $40 (discount). The full lighting kit with new bulbs and the new bridge is priced at $200.