Smartphones can do so much, we have to wonder how much longer we’ll still be calling them ‘phones’ at all. Now, you can add one more task to the long list of things that iPhone’s Siri can help you accomplish. As part of Apple’s new HomeKit system, which runs on the newly released iOS 9, iPhone owners can use voice commands to turn lights off and on, as well adjust brightness – from home or on the go – thanks to the new version of Philips Hue lighting hub.
The updated Philips Hue light system, which launches October 6 in the United States and Europe, is the first HomeKit-compatible set of home lighting on the market. The new square-shaped Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 goes for $60 for the starter kit or $40 to upgrade from Bridge 1.0. The previous round-shaped Hue Bridge will continue to receive software updates, but it won’t work with the HomeKit system without the upgrade. The new Hue Bridge is backwards compatible, so that users won’t have to upgrade all their bulbs. Existing Philips Hue bulbs and lamps will still work with the new Bridge.
Philips Hue’s smart lighting originally launched three years ago, as a way to make it easy for people to control their living spaces with an app. Essentially, the system lets you adjust your light levels, turn lights on and off, no matter where you are, and makes it simple to do so. Philips is now also offering another option for people who might be a little intimidated by the sophisticated app, in the form of a dimmer switch that works wirelessly, either as a remote control or as a wall-mounted dimmer, with no hardwiring, no visit from an electrician, and no expensive setup costs.
Images via Philips