After an announcement made this summer, Philips made official the integration of a color-changing lights Hue with Siri, via Apple HomeKit. This means that in order to use the voice commands from Siri, a new Hue control box has to be acquired.
According to Apple, the HomeKit was designed for, “Communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home. You can enable users to discover HomeKit accessories in their home and configure them, or you can create actions to control those devices. Users can group actions together and trigger them using Siri.”
This option will be part of all Philips Hue starter kits on October 6th. Customers will be able to trade their old devices for the one syncing with Siri, with a $20 discount. However, they announced that they will continue providing support for the existing Hue bridge.
Philips Hue inventor and head of technology, George Yianni, says that, “Beyond the new bridge, all you need is an iOS 9 device to start talking to your lights through Siri. However, not all of the functions in the Hue app will be supported by Siri commands”.
Another new feature improved light bulbs, with a shinier light than the previous ones. According to CNET, “The new Hue LEDs promise to put out 800 lumens at peak, white-light brightness. At just 600 lumens, the existing Hue bulbs fell awkwardly in between the brightness you’d expect from a 45-watt bulb and what you’d get with a 60-watt bulb. At 800 lumens, they should now sit comfortably at that familiar 60-watt level.”
Yianni expects that the Hue App will be able to interact with other systems other than light bulbs, like the ones that control temperature, and will be included among the Siri’s functions linked to the Hue, according to Tech Times.
Nevertheless, Yianni added that this feature of compatibility won’t be exclusive for Apple, as they expect to develop the technology for Android users as well. They are also improving the system for replacement, and will come with cheaper prices.