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Wi-Fi Light Bulbs Shipping Soon

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the please-tell-me-i-can-play-quake-on-my-light-bulbs dept.

Open Source 401

An anonymous reader writes "Computerworld has an interview with an Australian startup called LIFX, producing WiFi-connected LED light bulbs. Each light bulb is a small computer running the Thingsquare distribution of the open source Contiki operating system that creates a low-power wireless mesh network between the light bulbs and connects them to the WiFi network. The wireless mesh network lets the light bulbs be controlled with a smartphone app. Through a Kickstarter project, the company has already raised a significant amount of money: over one million USD. "

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Wi-Fi toothpick (5, Funny)

justthinkit (954982) | about a year ago | (#44018379)

I'm waiting for the Wi-Fi toothpick.

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#44018731)

yeah, and the wi fi doors.

look, i dont want my 45 cent light bulb costing me 50 bucks. I dont need a light bulb with a computer in it, can i think of fun things to do with it? sure but when i have over 100 light bulbs in my home, i dont want them all costing me a months pay to replace. what is wrong with a good old fashioned light bulb??

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (5, Insightful)

thereitis (2355426) | about a year ago | (#44018829)

Seems to me that wifi-enabling the light switch would be more useful and cost-effective (for most people) than doing the same to the bulb.

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018997)

switching 110/220 is a big deal involving mechanical relays that tend to stick open/closed or flutter when they fail.

what's more interesting is someone writing a virus/trojan that scans for these devices and then tries to trigger an epileptic fit by flashing all the lights on/off when it's night time.

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019029)

what's more interesting is someone writing a virus/trojan that scans for these devices and then tries to trigger an epileptic fit by flashing all the lights on/off when it's night time.

Yeah that'll really fuck over the 0.00001% of the population who might seizure that way. At least until someone else unscrews the damned things. Man, it's definitely worth the effort to write that malware! Every doer of indiscriminate mayhem agrees it's the best bang for the buck!

Just wait till the comic book supervillians get ahold of THIS idea!

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (2)

davetv (897037) | about a year ago | (#44019083)

a semiconductor device - a triac - is more widely used for AC switching than relays

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (2)

willy_me (212994) | about a year ago | (#44019195)

Yes, but they result in very dirty power that tend to kill cheap ballasts. If you're making a switch for lighting, a relay is the way to go if you want to support compact florescent bulbs. But triacs are good for incandescent bulbs.

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (2)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#44018859)

I think it won't be too long till the added cost of Wi-Fi in a bulb will be a couple of USD. Remember: a Wi-Fi chip has a microcontroller inside of it. That microcontroller should be enough to run Wi-Fi and a simple mesh network. It doesn't need a full-blown webserver, but even that could be done on a micro. The volume lets you optimize the heck out of everything. It would cost $0.0 in materials to have this chip control the light that already needs to have a power supply built into it anyway. In fact, the added on-top-of-Wi-Fi chip cost might even be negative if they let the Wi-Fi chip do power regulation in firmware as well. That way you lose the voltage regulation silicon, so that may cut some cost. Why the heck not, every modern industrial servo drive does all of the control in software anyway, and it's a couple control loops worth more complex than a power supply :)

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44019243)

If it costs just 10c its STILL stupid and wasteful, okay? Just because a dumb thing can be done cheaply doesn't keep it from being a dumb thing, especially when others have pointed out a VERY obvious way to get the benefit without the stupidity, and that is putting the Wifi in the socket NOT in the bulb. This would keep the electronics farther away from the heat, let you build a better antenna because you'll have more room, it just makes a hell of a lot more sense to just put it in the socket than it does in the bulb.

Personally I'd go one better and put it in the switch, as most wall mounts are in hallways anyway, putting it in the switch gives you an easy manual override (the switch itself) and since one switchplate can have 2 or 3 light controls you could use less chips by having one master control say 4 switches and cut the cost down further.

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019011)

look, i dont want my 45 cent light bulb costing me 50 bucks

Don't worry, the wifi bulb won't do that to you.

The fucking Democrats already took care of that! They know what's good for you after all, and you're a religious inbred racist homophobe if you disagree with them. So, will that be CFL or LED? Don't worry you'll get used to the shitty color temperature soon enough. Just think of the polar bears!

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#44019075)

what is wrong with a good old fashioned light bulb??

Apparently they're too dumb...

But I do agree with you. As long as they don't force this shit on us and it's just another option at the store, then I don't mind a little bit of extra choice. I'm not even so sure that I would want to have two dozen basically meaningless "devices" (light bulbs) wasting my router's resources in the first place... but depending on what these things allow, maybe a few of them in certain rooms wouldn't be too bad.

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about a year ago | (#44019135)

Your angst is shared but your spitting in the wind. You see there are far to many people with their heads up their ass to realize not everything in our lives needs controlling by a computer. Sadly you will never be able to convince them.

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44019171)

what is wrong with a good old fashioned light bulb?

It used energy, and was made of sand. Therefore your 50 cent light bulb needed to be replaced with a $50 biohazard made of mercury and other toxins sold by campaign contributors.
 

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44019223)

Speak for yourself, but I can't wait for these things.

As for cost, how much would it be to have whatever existing proprietary system installed in your home? That's the cost of the hardware itself (I'm guessing hundreds if not thousands), hiring an electrician, possibly ripping out and redoing some drywall for rewiring, etc.

These? Whatever the bulbs cost, however many you want. In my home, I'd say about 8-10 bulbs. Do you think whatever proprietary systems exist would cost $400-$500 for complete installation?

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#44018769)

Wi-Fi toilet paper. Finally, mankind's eternal dream of wiping from the keyboard cones true!

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44018823)

don't forget wifi blow up dolls

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44019095)

Which makes far more sense that wi-fi bulbs. I think this article is evidence that there's a bubble forming in the tech sector again. Or really, that it's already formed.

WAP built into lamps might make some sense, but building them into the lightbulb makes precisely zero sense. What would probably make the most sense would be building it into the socket, so that it could be easily replaced, but not require replacing whenever the bulb goes out. The bulbs themselves tend to be rather fragile, whether incandescent or fluorescent, they're the part of the set up that needs to be replaced the most frequently.

Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about a year ago | (#44019163)

I have never seen a bulb of any type that did not eventually go out.

if only X10 could've lived to see this day (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44018385)

Lights being controlled by computer! The power of home automation at your fingertips! Click here to order today!

Re:if only X10 could've lived to see this day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018481)

I still have my X10 stuff, too bad the PC transmitter uses serial...

Re:if only X10 could've lived to see this day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018809)

But does it come with a free X10 camera?

Re:if only X10 could've lived to see this day (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#44018871)

X10 is almost useless in a modern home where almost anything you plug into the outlet has a switching power supply, including every light bulb. It wasn't designed to cope with that. There are much better and higher bandwidth protocols. They leverage modern signal processing. It lets them perform better than X10 in spite of being orders of magnitude higher bandwidth!

Re:if only X10 could've lived to see this day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019047)

It lets them perform better than X10 in spite of being orders of magnitude higher bandwidth!

So they perform better in spite of the orders of magnitude higher bandwidth? Wow, against all odds. That inspires hope!

Shitty ASS LEDS???? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018387)

This project is total RUBBISH! LED bulbs are too heavy for traditional use. I think it is time to BAN poisonous CFLS and TAX heavy LEDS. Bring back the incandescent bulbs!!!! Bright efficient light with no POISON!!

Re:Shitty ASS LEDS???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018543)

bright, maybe
efficient not even fucking close
no POSISON!! incandescent contain heavy metals as well

Re:Shitty ASS LEDS???? (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | about a year ago | (#44018739)

Modern Incandescent lamps no longer use lead in manufacturing. If you include the energy used during manufacturing and transport incandescent lamps are rather energy efficient as little aluminum is used in the base and there are no plastics, semiconductors or other materials that use a large amount of energy (or are made from crude oil) used in the manufacturing of incandescent lamps.

Re:Shitty ASS LEDS???? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44019107)

Theoretically, the energy that's spent in manufacture of CFLs is made up for over the long run. In practice, they've had reliability issues. Most of the early ones I tried burned out well before they made up for the extra cost or expenditure of energy to produce.

Re:Shitty ASS LEDS???? (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44018843)

Bright efficient light with no POISON!!

yeah guddammit i wanna be able to light a campfire in every room of my house!

Re:Shitty ASS LEDS???? (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#44018877)

Too heavy? What the fuck?

Re:Shitty ASS LEDS???? (1)

Worthless_Comments (987427) | about a year ago | (#44018993)

Did you suggest we tax LED bulbs extra because they are heavy? Are you fucking retarded or something?

Just what we need (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44018433)

We finally have energy efficient light bulbs that can last for years and don't cost an arm and a leg.

Can't have that - let's add some complexity to the system. It'll raise the price and increase the failure rate!

Re:Just what we need (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018503)

And why not? Not every item should be made to fit every need.

Re:Just what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018565)

And the carbon footprint.

Re:Just what we need (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#44018737)

we have had those for a good 50 years now what do you mean "finally"

Re:Just what we need (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44019113)

Now, they're shaped like light bulbs.

Re:Just what we need (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44018849)

increase the failure rate!

i think the point of the whole exercise is to increase the profit... and with millions of idiot consumers they can't go wrong :)

Re:Just what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019069)

i think the point of the whole exercise is to increase the profit... and with millions of idiot consumers they can't go wrong :)

Why did you think the government runs the K-12 school system? To LOWER corporate profits? To churn out informed voters who think critically and question policy decisions? Hah! HAHAHAHAHA. Man that's a good one.

Fat and stupid and eager to consume, that's a good little sheeple.

Sooo... You know you can get non-wifi bulbs right? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#44018931)

You can have nice, efficient, LED bulbs with no WiFi in them. Go to Amazon, Home Depot, pretty much wherever you like. The Philips L-Prize bulb is the one I'd recommend. Very nice spectrum, more efficient than most other LEDs, long life.

Or I suppose you could just whine on Slashdot about a product that isn't on the market yet.

Malware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018447)

Can't wait for andoid malware to takeover the lifx lighting and make your go nuts by switching on and off light at random times of the day!

hackers and have fun with this and maybe even driv (2, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44018465)

hackers and have fun with this and maybe even driver people nuts / make them pay for all of this to go away.

Mods are dumb (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019109)

Who the hell gave this guy a +5? The sentence is incoherant. I don't know what he's trying to say but dammit it must be Insightful. Methinks you are voting yourself up with alts Joe.

Botnet (1)

Max DollarCash (2874161) | about a year ago | (#44018457)

Im building the wolds first lightbulb based botnet. Without kickstarter funding!

Smart phone as a universal UI... (1)

jasno (124830) | about a year ago | (#44018459)

I wonder how hard it would be to have bulbs like this subtley modulate their light output to broadcast their address to your smartphone? Your phone could then ID the bulb and give you control over it when your phone is pointing at the light. A scheme like this, implemented with cheap IR beacons, could be applied to other products to allow control without a physical interface. Want to change the thermostat? Point your phone at it and a HTML 5 UI pops up allowing a rich user interface. Someone has to have done this already...

Re:Smart phone as a universal UI... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44018875)

Want to change the thermostat? Point your phone at it and a HTML 5 UI pops up allowing a rich user interface

wow life is becoming so much easier with all this technology... makes me feel so inadequate since all i have is a clumsy dial for changing my thermostat

just what the world needs (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44018471)

Nevermind this has been commercially available long enough for it to be featured on this old house, why in gods name do we need to control everything from our smartphone?

Re:just what the world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018705)

Because it's a device that people likely to buy this product already own and carry with them, rather than a whole separate single-purpose remote control to buy and carry around. I've made my garage door controllable from my smartphone so I don't have to carry a whole separate dongle with me just to get back in my house.

Plus any device that you can "control with your smartphone" can be controlled from any other network-capable computing device, and the people likely to integrate such devices are typically smart enough to know that.

Re:just what the world needs (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#44018743)

Plus any device that you can "control with your smartphone" can be controlled from any other network-capable computing device

all the more reason I DONT want it. if *I* can control it with any network capable device, so can hackers 1/2 across the world or even worse, the NSA

Re:just what the world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018985)

lmao!!

Re:just what the world needs (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about a year ago | (#44019203)

The LIFX ones haven't been available that long (except for the kickstarters). It's a more complete solution than others that have been available.

Why bother to have switches at all when you can have lights controlled by your smart phone? Could even do some cool hacks so the lights come on automatically when your phone is in range and it's during hours that would be dark.

This makes no sense. (5, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44018477)

Why would you put control circuitry that doesn't wear out into the replaceable part that *does* wear out instead of into the fixture that holds it?

Re:This makes no sense. (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44018521)

In principle it's not the right place for it, but it does make transitioning much easier. If you were going to put it in the fixture, you'd need to put out a whole range of devices with the new fixture, ranging from recessed ceiling lighting to lamps to whatever else people have in their houses. And once you did that, people would have to replace their existing fixtures with the new ones.

While if you put it in the bulb, you can just screw it in to any of your existing fixtures quite easily.

Re:This makes no sense. (5, Informative)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#44018837)

The same thing could be done with a screw in adapter. Adapter screws into the fixture, bulb screws into the adapter. Same feature set. More flexibility.

Re:This makes no sense. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018845)

You realize they've been making these [taiwantrade.com.tw] for quite some time. Since the 60s/70s at least. An adapter similar to this would be much better to build it on.

Why? (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | about a year ago | (#44018551)

So that people don't have to rewire their house to use them.

I mean, I'm not buying them, but that's a pretty obvious answer

I guess you don't need power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018723)

... since light fixtures need to be WIRED to be powered.

Are people really this ignorant of reality??

Re:I guess you don't need power (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44018947)

existing wiring can be used to transmit data, but controlling from your smartphone still requires wireless

Re:This makes no sense. (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year ago | (#44018701)

Why would you put control circuitry that doesn't wear out into the replaceable part that *does* wear out instead of into the fixture that holds it?

One of the advantages of LED bulbs is that they don't wear out for a very long time. It wouldn't surprise me if they outlast the control circuitry.

Re: This makes no sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018745)

An LED will likely outlive the control system. Your idea of lightbulbs dying fast doesn't convey.

Re:This makes no sense. (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44019021)

Why would you put control circuitry that doesn't wear out into the replaceable part that *does* wear out instead of into the fixture that holds it?

Fixtures are pretty permanent (difficult to replace for most homeowners). Bulbs are made to be easily changed by anyone. LED bulbs should last a very long time, longer than quickly changing home net/mesh technology.

Why would you want to lock yourself into a new technology by making it difficult to upgrade? Does this answer your question?

Re:This makes no sense. (1)

shione (666388) | about a year ago | (#44019065)

I see what you are saying but its actually the other way around. In a LED light the LEDs has a longer lifespan than the controller. You can see this in a LED streetlight. The control circuitry is a simple plug in plugout to replace. The LED panel is modular too but thats more so the streetlight designer can specify how many LEDs for the lumens he needs.

one million dollars startup funding????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018483)

for a light switch operated by a smarthone app rather than, you know, pressing the real button in a second or so ?

And how easy is it to flick that switch when you come home after a good few beers rather than faffing around with your phone (presuming you remembered it)

I'd love to see a detailed breakdown of the funding on this one, I can't imagine a better scenario for a serious academic study into how imbeciles get parted from their cash by means of investment opportunities for totally worthless, pointless crap.

Re:one million dollars startup funding????? (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44018953)

i think the objective is to allow welfare bums to live on their couches... the whole concept of having to get up to turn a light on or off requires too much energy to even contemplate in an era when government supplies everything and working is for the poor ignorant fools who still have an unfounded belief in the American dream

Seems like a great way to... (5, Interesting)

Semmi Zamunda (2897397) | about a year ago | (#44018537)

...absolutely POLLUTE the airwaves with junk wi-fi signals. Seems like this would add a ton of unnecessary interference on currently existing wireless networks.

Re:Seems like a great way to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018887)

Wifi has collision avoidance in its specs. Thus any device that uses these specs (aka, the light) will have collision avoidance, thus not sending whenever anything else is sending. This means that if these lights do not have to communicate much (it is unlikely the lights will be high bandwidth) they will not interfere and have no noticable impact with other wifi items.

Re:Seems like a great way to... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44018991)

what should happen... level of junk wi-fi signals reduced
what will happen... power in wi-fi transmitters increased

Re:Seems like a great way to... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#44019049)

Agreed. Just because WiFi hardware will be cents on the dollar (or soon at this rate) doesn't mean we should be slapping a WiFi chip on every fucking electronic device just to fart over the airwaves. What's next, an IPv6 address for every single kitchen and household appliance? I suppose I should be so snarky about it. I could see the point in being notified when to replace food or notifying you that the burner or oven was left on (no thanks to the kids or elderly). Regardless, WiFi hardware doesn't need to be installed in gimmicky products just to make name for yourself in the market. So again, your point still stands.

Smarthome networked LED lightbulb (3)

Yahma (1004476) | about a year ago | (#44018559)

While not WiFi, Smarthome has had a network connected LED bulb [smarthome.com] for over a year now. In my opinion, it is better suited for home automation than the WiFi bulb in the OP because it utilizes the Insteon Protocol, which is the replacement for X10.

Re:Smarthome networked LED lightbulb (2)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#44018639)

Same with Philips' "Hue" lights.

Re:Smarthome networked LED lightbulb (1)

anon mouse-cow-aard (443646) | about a year ago | (#44018757)

I like wifi better because it is already here, rather than having to add more hardware and have to support yet another network with yet another addressing scheme routing, etc... And Insteon is not IP, uses both RF and powerline..., and very low bandwidth... interesting but I prefer to use general purpose networks, say Wifi for RF, and HomePlug for powerline, both of which can be used by many more devices (in terms of compatibility), so reducing the total RF flying around.

Re:Smarthome networked LED lightbulb (5, Informative)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44018857)

More WiFi clients == less RF flying around?

No, not really: Insteon (and X10) are dead silent unless commands are being sent. Meanwhile, WiFi devices are inherently somewhat chatty; they all spend a significant portion of their time broadcasting "Hey, here I am! I'm still here! I'm still here! I'm still here! Hey, everyone! I'm still here! Are you there? Good! Because I'm still here!"

Re:Smarthome networked LED lightbulb (3)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#44018863)

There is no good reason that a light bulb that is designed to screw into a standard socket should ever use any kind of wireless technology for it's control. The thing, by it's very nature, is already connected to a wired network in the home. Using wireless pollutes the WiFi spectrum while simultaneously exposing the device to hackers.

Re:Smarthome networked LED lightbulb (2)

dfghjk (711126) | about a year ago | (#44018917)

Spoken like someone with no knowledge or experience with Insteon.

Curious how you think WiFi light bulbs would *reduce* the amount of RF "flying" around compared to Insteon (which would be powerline). Even in RF form Insteon is low power and low range in comparison...oh, and Insteon is "already here" too as are the networked Insteon bulbs. All you need to use them is a switch and a powerline bridge. No big deal.

Troll level: 99 (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44018573)

Yup, I can see it now... Drive by someone's house, whip out the phone, plunge them into the stone ages. Keep driving. (puts on sunglasses) AWWWWWW YEEEAAAAH.

Re:Troll level: 99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018697)

They actually have encrypted connection, so as long as the people can't actually get on your internal network (aka, your wifi is secure), you will not be able to do this. Maybe try to read something about the whole thing before judging. I know its hard but it makes everything a lot easier.

Re:Troll level: 99 (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44018751)

They actually have encrypted connection, so as long as the people can't actually get on your internal network (aka, your wifi is secure), you will not be able to do this. Maybe try to read something about the whole thing before judging. I know its hard but it makes everything a lot easier.

Anonymous Coward: Not having a sense of humor since 1997.

Re:Troll level: 99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018847)

Oh well, thank god you can defeat win an argument when flaws in your original statement are pointed out by going for a personal attack and ignoring everything that was said.
In the end, what you said is completely wrong. You can't whip out your phone and put people in the stone age unless your phone can crack AES-256, in which case the NSA will be contacting you soon, or if your phone does wifi jamming, but thats also rather unlikely, and even if it did, the phones probably wouldn't automatically turn off whenever no signal is found.

Also, if you gonna whip out the "I trolled you into responding" defense, do note that I will just argue that I did the exact same.

Re:Troll level: 99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018981)

Why crack the encryption when a simple replay attack will do the job? You don't have to know what encrypted packets say as long as you know how the system responds to them. This being a commercial product for sale to anybody, it will be hacked.

Re:Troll level: 99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019177)

The lifx.co site has little info on this but does say this:
  We have considered security. The WiFi connection will use the standard security set-up that you are currently using. Mesh networks based on 802.15.4 will encrypt packets using AES-128. Higher network stack layers will need to handle exchange of security keys and deal with problems like "replay attacks". In short, your lights will be as secure as your home wifi network.

Certainly, they don't list their security measures to stop replay attacks, but its not that they haven't thought of the possibility and thus likely will be attemting to stop this from happening.

And even if it was possible, what is the fucking use of hacking these lights? Any possible scenario where it seems to have some use that I can think off involves being very far fetched and having way, way bigger problems than the lights not being under your controll.

Re:Troll level: 99 (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#44019041)

did you run out of prozac this morning?

Re:Troll level: 99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018841)

If the light is already off and you rely on your encrypted connection to turn it on, a DoS would actually have some negative effect.

Re:Troll level: 99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019001)

Of course it is. Which is fine, but doing a DoS to stop people from turning on their light strikes me as something that really will not be happening all that often. People don't park a car with a jammer in front of peoples houses to stop them from doing things online at this moment, its unlikely somebody will find it useful to ensure you can't put on the light. Sure, I could think of some possible scenarios, but they all seem rather far fetched and extremely targetted that the average person really shouldn't worry about it.

This strikes me as a "I wont fly because of possible terrorists on planes" while you drive while SMSing people. Its just that if you really have so little to worry about that somebody dosing you to stop you from turning on the light is next on your lists of things to protect yourself from, you probably live a rather carefree life.
Its not automatically wrong for new technology that takes over the job of old technology to introduce problems that weren't there before if it also introduces enough features that weren't there before. Its really a tradeoff with what you want.

They'll be sued... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018575)

They will be sued out of existence by the Apple/Philips Hue bulb guys. Because that is the only way corporations know how to handle competition now days.

Subtle mind control (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#44018645)

Barely perceptible changes in lighting levels or hues aimed at changing your behavior. In response to your activity online. Or whatever the NSA deems appropriate.

Re:Subtle mind control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018719)

Or it could just make sure the only lights turned on in your house are the one you're currently in and then turn the lights on/off as you walk around your house.

This will work until we invent thumbs

Watch out for copyright trolls (1)

Davo Batty (2855025) | about a year ago | (#44018803)

Especially Uncle Fester, he had an interactive bulb 40 years ago!

What I expect with WiFi bulbs (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#44018867)

There have been experiments of light bulbs as down link: the bulb adds HF data signal in light emissions, and mobile devices can use it, leaving traditional WiFi spectrum used for just up link. I thought this was what this story was about and I must confess I am a bit disappointed.

There's something similar out there now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018883)

that allows you to control the color and I think style/effects the lights do.

I can't remember who it was that makes them but I recall reading about it a while ago and seeing them listed on one of the online stores that specializes in LED lights for the home

Taking it further (0)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44018889)

The wireless mesh network lets the light bulbs be controlled with a smartphone app.

Great! Although I have personally taken that idea even further in my Smart Home concept: I have dedicated switches embedded directly on the wall for each of my light sources. They allow me to discretely turn on/off any LED bulbs in the house (CFL and incandescent also fully supported).

Re:Taking it further (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018937)

Just out on interest, would this dedicated switching technology support changing collors, dimming from any location in the room, automation (for example lights going on in the morning when you have to wake up or moodlights to fit with some music).

And before you say you don't need that, other people may actually like to have that, which is why these light bulbs are not mandatory but can be bought if you have any interest.

Put it in the switch (1)

crow (16139) | about a year ago | (#44018913)

If you really want automation, put it in the switch, not the bulb. Then you can use any bulb you like. Just program the switch to tell it what type of bulb (whether it's dimmable, and what type of dimming to use). The only advantage in putting it in the bulb is that you can do effects where multiple bulbs on the same switch can be controlled independently, which I don't see as a significant advantage.

Also, if you put the control in the switch, you can choose between WiFi and powerline ethernet. You also don't lose control if the light is switched off.

My take on home automation.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018935)

My take on home automation and controlling things from your smartphone..

They are not as convenient and easy to use as the plain old KISS approach.

Take someone who has some form of wireless audio/speakers deployed.
For one, those systems are not cheap and the selection of speakers and amplifiers is very limited. They often do not stream everything and they are not as flexible. Sure, you can get them to work and work around their quirks but is it worth it? You can buy a cheap receiver or regular old self powered speakers and plug your or anyones iPod/Pad/Droid/$10mp3 player device directly in right there on site you still have the local smartphone controls, no proprietary wireless distribution system needed and probably 1/2 the cost of a decent one. Sure, you don't win at the geek factor though but the system is simple and just as transparent.

shoving lightbulbs in your ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018963)

why do some people do this - don't they know it's going to break?

i mean of all things, a lightbulb??

Philips already has this (1)

Logger (9214) | about a year ago | (#44019035)

I already saw Philips version of this called the Hue at the local hardware store.

Re:Philips already has this (1)

webminer (1619915) | about a year ago | (#44019253)

Apple store has them for $199 - starter pack with 3 bulbs and the wireless bridge (supports upto 50 bulbs). Each additional bulb is only $59.50 (Dont you love that its 50 cents less than $60). No thanks! Not going to spend $200 when I can move my butt, get off the couch to turn off the light!

Lumens per watt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019051)

I'll eat my hat if these silly, overpriced, toys are even remotely green compared with more sensible ways of designing intelligent lighting.

But that will not stop people buying them, in the short term anyway.

What a dumbass idea (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about a year ago | (#44019117)

Yay, let's significantly increase the cost of making light bulbs (instead of simply making an attachment that screws into the socket and then takes a normal bulb), so we can increase the power requirements to run the light bulbs, so we can add yet more signals and interference to an already overcrowded wifi spectrum, so that we can make our light bulbs hackable... all in an effort to do what? Avoid having to flick a switch?

About the only thing they're not doing is wrong is suckering people out of money on kickstarter.

Re:What a dumbass idea (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about a year ago | (#44019237)

LED bulbs (even with extra electronics) are already much more power efficient than other bulbs. They also have some definite advantages such as changing colors and lifespan. Controlling the lighting can do a lot to improve the atmosphere of a space. It's easy to change intensity and color of LEDs, so pretty much anything is possible. You can have a rave in your apartment or a flickering fire in your den or just a low blue nightlight in your hallway.

Honestly I'm amazed at the resentment of so many /. users to being able to control their environments electronically. Nerds are the ones that embrace technology and push the cool ways to automate simple tasks like switching light switches BEFORE it gets to the mainstream. Guess people are getting old and starting to fear change and these new fangled smart phone connected devices.

One Million USD (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44019143)

And nobody's put their pinky to their mouth yet?

Remember When (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44019201)

Obama the Fag, i.e. a cigarette !

Years after decrying Bush for it, Obama said Americans did have to make tough choices in the name of safety.

Among he "touch choices" for Americans is to KILL a President.

Yes ! KILL Obama and avoid a very nasty Civil War for the Next President.

Well. Look at history. Civil war have a very nasty reduction of 'infrastructure' for one.

The 'National Government' will at first call upon the citizens to fill the ranks of the Army (now the Marines, Navy and Air Force).

The 'National Government' does NOT trust the 'legal civilians' and will 'engineer' illegal emancipation, Ha Ha look what Lincoln did to win His War !

Obama is the LOVE CHILD of Lincoln.

Obama these days has few day to live.

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