Alba, the responsive light bulb (VIDEO)

Over the past few years a swath of self-styled ‘smart lights’ have pushed into the market. The likes of Philips Hue and Kickstarter fueled LIFX. Aka connected lightbulbs that can be controlled via an app. But this is just the first wave of smart lighting.

Stack’s view is that truly smart connected objects should be autonomous, rather than require their owner to continuously tend to their needs via an app. Because, well, as I for one have noted before, needing to use an app for every bulb in your home is just tedious. So Stack’s ‘lightbulb moment’, if you will, is to create smart lights with built-in ambient light, motion and occupancy sensors — enabling them to respond dynamically to their environment without the need for constant app-based interaction.

The bulbs are packed with sensors, Bluetooth, Zigbee and iBeacon hardware, and microcontrollers allowing them to react autonomously once installed. During the initial set up process the owner is asked to specify (yes, via an app) whether the bulbs are installed in a commercial location or a home. And once they choose one of those two options they’re good to go, with the system using a series of commercial or residential pre-sets to dial light up or down, based on ambient light conditions, time of day and occupancy of the room.


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