When Connected Lighting Meets TV: Oh Hell Maybe.

Geek Culture Television

All too often early adopters are left with some amazing hardware that doesn’t really support anything other than a few trivial applications. So when someone (anyone) adds a feature that might actually give that hardware an even slightly useful function… it is time to rejoice.

Who would have thought that the immensely campy Sharknado franchise would use the Syfy Sync application to merge the connected lighting of the Philips Hue system and the cheesy gore-fest? Not us, but that’s exactly what has happened–and it could be the first sparks of a new integration of daily life with enhanced environments.

Syfy Sync + Hue w/ Sharknado Image Credit: Syfy
Syfy Sync + Hue w/ Sharknado
Image Credit: Syfy
If you are unfamiliar with the pop culture steamroller that is Sharknado, then I suggest a primer on the latest installment from fellow GeekDad Ken Denmead: 10 Things Parents Should Know about Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (direct link)

We knew that last year’s Sharknado 2 included the connected lighting system; we got to see it in person at South by Southwest (SxSW) and were intrigued, but not overwhelmed. The latest installment, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, has made some improvements to the timing and used the huge range of colors in the Philips Hue system to it’s advantage, but it’s still not perfect. Sometimes the color change was absolutely synchronized with a scene (a bright flash of red when a particularly large shark exploded in mid-air), other times the color or timing seemed to be random (or perhaps just uninspired) and there were some missed occasions that should have been embraced (the flashing red and blue of a police car that could have grown in intensity as the cruiser got closer).

If you somehow managed to miss this blending of the Internet of Things with popular culture, do not fear… Syfy is playing all of the Sharknado movies several times, they are all available online (through www.syfy.com), and Syfy Sync with Hue lighting is available for the Syfy original series 12 Monkeys as well as the Sharknado movies.

Obviously, the integration of home lighting and entertainment is just a first, tiny step in the infiltration of the Internet of Things (IoT), but the potential is clear and opportunities abound. For example, there is nothing to prevent our fitness monitoring wristband from telling our connected lighting that we have not reached our step goal for the day and that the lights should be slightly brighter, encouraging more activity. Connected thermostats already encourage energy savings through raising set temperatures automatically during periods of very high usage, and connected security systems can identify a home’s residents and trigger their preferences upon walking in the door. As we have said many times before, it is the simple solutions that will encourage the enhanced environment, not the overly complex ones… and bringing an exploding, flying shark out of your television might just be the solution we needed.

This post is cross-published on the Architechnologist, a site dedicated to exploring technologies that change the way we experience the world around us. For the stories behind the content – information that often drives upcoming news or the first glimmers of the next generation of ideas, please accept a free trial of a curated weekly newsmagazine, the Curated Architechnologist, by clicking here.

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