Philips Hue and Apple's HomeKit to be house mates

Philips Hue and Apple's HomeKit to be house mates

Philips has announced that its Hue intelligent lighting system will be compatible with Apple's HomeKit smart home platform later this year. The lights will be able to be controlled from that smart-home platform. "Your existing Philips Hue lights will work seamlessly and any necessary upgrade to the system will be fully supported," said Philips.

Philips Hue is designed for people to take lighting beyond just basic illumination. Philips has made it clear in the past that they want consumers to enjoy lighting beyond the limited concept of a -shedding connected bulb—rather, the user can personalize a wireless lighting environment with Philips Hue connected bulbs and bridge. Together, the bulbs, the bridge and the app enable one to try shades of white or play with all colors in the spectrum. The lights can dim, flash and pulse.

Earlier this year, Sridhar Kumaraswamy, business leader for Philips' connected home systems, had stated, "Put simply, lighting is now central to the Internet of Things and we see Philips Hue as the go-to lighting brand for the home."

The Monday announcement said the Philips Hue will meet up with Apple HomeKit later this year. Existing Philips Hue bulbs will work with HomeKit, said Engadget. Yes, said Daniel Cooper, the Hue bulbs you already assembled will be compatible.

Answering a question on the Facebook page, the response was "Yes, the solution we are working on will work with all your existing and new Hue lights. To get details about how your existing Philips Hue products will work with HomeKit, please follow us on Twitter or Facebook get the latest details leading up to our launch in Fall 2015."

Neil Hughes in AppleInsider said the idea behind HomeKit is to simplify the control of smart home accessories. Siri is in the picture, as its voice technology is to enable users to direct tasks such as turning off the lights, locking doors or closing a garage. Or as CNET described it, HomeKit is Apple's "bid to build an iOS-based smart home ecosystem with Siri calling the shots."

HomeKit is in brief a home automation framework. Apple is working with partners to develop hardware that works with the platform, and can be controlled through compatible Apple devices, said Ubergizmo. On Monday, Jacob Kastrenakes of The Verge reported that HomeKit will soon be able to control a number of products, including security systems, motion sensors, carbon dioxide monitors, and window shades.

Adnan Farooqui at Ubergizmo said Philips has confirmed that existing Hue bulbs will work with HomeKit. Philips didn't go in much detail about the process yet, as final touches are to come. Not yet indicated, said Hughes in AppleInsider, was "whether a software or firmware update would add HomeKit compatibility, or if a new hub to control the Hue lights will be required."

Ry Crist similarly noted in CNET that "HomeKit certification comes with specific hardware requirements—we'll have to wait and see if Philips can meet them with a simple firmware upgrade, or if users will need to buy a new Bridge altogether." More details can be expected from September 15 on.

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