The automation of our “smart places” is often mistakenly seen as the only thing that this technology brings to our lives. Obviously, the data that drives our smart homes and offices can (and should) do far, far more. These systems often send alerts to our mobile devices: beeping when a door is opened, chiming when movement is detected or sending a message with any imaginable alert; the overlooked possibility here is for in-place notifications, through audible alerts (more beeping) or “ambient alerts” using connected lamps that signal users through changes in illumination and/or color. It’s surprising that this use of connected devices is passed over considering that lighting and light sensors are the second most popular devices adopted by Staples Connect consumers.
Demonstrating the potential of the ambient alert at the 2015 International CES, the Staples Connect home and office automation platform showcased the Philips’ hue Living Color Bloom lamp. Designed to be an accent, not a full-power bulb (like the regular hue bulbs), the Bloom lamp will take cues from the Connect hub and translate that information into light and color.
We’re constantly improving the Staples Connect user experience, adding partners and functions that let customers make more happen with their connected homes and businesses. The new ambient alert updates will help make the Staples Connect system more intuitive, without being intrusive, giving users more choices on how they are notified of events at their house or office.
— Mike Edwards, Executive Vice President, Merchandising, Staples
Also available is a variation on an ambient alert lamp: the hue Disney StoryLight. Essentially the same hardware as the Philips’ hue Living Color Bloom lamp, the StoryLight sports the iconic Mickey Mouse ears and the lighting color will integrate with specially created Disney e-books on iPads, synchronizing lighting effects in the room to match the progression of the story.
Certainly not limited to the Philips hue family of lamps, Staples will be offering new lighting products from LG that work with the Staples Connect app later in 2015. Of course, there is also the potential of adding smart outlets to the automation platform that could make any light fixture “intelligent”, although without the tremendous range of possibilities that the hue lamps provide.
[button link=”http://architechnologist.com/store” style=”info”]Both the Philips’ hue Living Color Bloom lamp and the Disney StoryLight are available in the Architechnologist Store, powered by Amazon.[/button]