More than three years ago, Philips Hue lighting synchronized their 16 million colors with a small selection of Syfy channel content through the Syfy Sync application, including some of the infamous Sharknado movies—you can read our thoughts in When Connected Lighting Meets TV: Oh Hell Maybe (The Architechnologist, July 25, 2015). Author’s Note: The sixth (and final) installment of the Sharknado series premieres August 19th, 2018.
Today, the Philips Hue Sync application is available to the public, and it makes that same synchronization we saw with Sharknado available with all the games, videos, and music played on your Windows (10 or above) or macOS (Sierra and higher) computer when streaming via HDMI, ChromeCast, AirPlay, or Miracast.
The Philips Hue Sync app analyses the content on the screen and bathes the room in color to match; specific zones of the screen are matched to the Philips Hue bulbs that are located close to those areas of the screen—the more lights, the more immersive the lighting scheme will become. Imagine playing an action game and your lights mimic the explosions on the screen, or, when watching a stunning sunset in a movie, your living room could be bathed in the same violet, orange, and yellow you see on the screen. And finally, your lights could strobe and dance to beat of the music you are playing.
We were provided with a pre-release version of the application to review and found that the Hue Sync app is incredibly simple to operate. After linking to your Hue Hub, simply select the desired source within the control panel, and any Hue lights assigned to the entertainment center will synchronize with the entertainment content playing on your computer.
The software allows users to make changes to their specific tastes, giving users the option to set the desired brightness level and change the speed in which your lights are changing alongside the content. And when listening to music, different color palettes can be specified to match the genre—subtle, pastel colors play with softer tunes, while brighter, bolder hues might sync with rock and dance music.
If you need to take the plunge into the Philips Hue ecosystem, or add some more lights to make the Hue Sync app really robust, the entire catalog is available on Amazon.
There is one issue to be considered with this first version of Hue Sync: if you are going to be watching your content on your television, it still needs to be streamed from your computer—there is no version of the Hue Sync application for mobile devices, Chromecast, or Apple TV… yet. This means that media that already lives on your TV or DVR might not be available to use with your Hue lighting. Future versions of the application may resolve this problem by putting the system directly into the hardware, but that is unconfirmed.
For complete information about Philips Hue Sync and to download the software for free, users can visit meethue.com/entertainment/hue-sync.