This is Philips’ $60 bridge to connect Hue lights to Apple’s Siri-controlled HomeKit platform

Philips-Hue-Homekit

Following confirmation from Philips that it plans to support Apple’s HomeKit platform for its popular iPhone-controlled Hue lighting system, images of a bridge device that will let existing Hue products work with Apple’s platform have leaked online (via iCulture).

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Accessory makers can’t add support for Apple’s HomeKit to products with software alone, but earlier this year we detailed Apple’s specs for building HomeKit hardware bridges that will allow existing home automation products to tap into the platform. Philips appears to be planning an imminent launch of such a device as images leak online through a lighting retailer in the Netherlands that jumped the gun on an official launch.

philips-hue-bridge-voor-homekitIn the image to the right we get our first look at the small Apple TV-looking “Hue Bridge” device that will allow the current lineup of Philips Hue lights to interface with HomeKit. In exchange, Hue users that invest in the bridge will gain access to Siri voice commands for controlling lights and likely other HomeKit features for grouping devices through an update to Philips’ companion app. We recently gave you a first look at HomeKit features in the real world with our review of iHome’s new iSP5 SmartPlug

No word yet on an official launch from Philips on the Hue Bridge, but the retailer listed a sales price of 60 euros before removing the listing earlier today (pictured below).

Philips-Homekit-bridge

We’d expect Apple will talk more about HomeKit at its upcoming press event on September 9th later this month. We reported that Apple is planning to introduce a new Apple TV, which acts as a hub for remote access to the Siri-controlled HomeKit platform, alongside new iPhones and an official launch for iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan.

Earlier today Philips took the wraps off a brand-new Hue product with the Lightstrip Plus.

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Comments

  1. 1sugomac - 7 years ago

    That is crazy! Does Apple really think we are all going in on home automation platform that requires us to buy multiple bridges to connect all our devices?

    • kevicosuave - 7 years ago

      No, what they think is that the home automation (really IoT) market has yet to get started. For some products that have tested the waters early on, bridges will be available, but the idea is that future products won’t need the bridges since they’ll be built into the device.

      The benefit here is that having HomeKit as a single platform means that you can have one app that controls everything, and everything can be connected together. All of this is at the system level, so you’ll be able to do things like “Hey Siri, I’m going to bed now. Wake me up in 8 hours”… and via HomeKit, your TV will turn off, the lights will turn off, nightlights will turn on, the doors will lock, the shades will close, the alarm will be set to home mode, and the bed will recline to the sleep position. In 8 hours, your alarm will go off, coffee will be ready, etc…”

      • andredewaard1991 - 7 years ago

        That sounds great! I think that this bridge is not needed when you have the new Apple tv 4 which will be a bridge for everything. I hope!

      • Pedro Marques - 7 years ago

        @andredewaard1991 AppleTV won’t be able to act as a hub for Hue lights because they work on the Zigbee specification and AppleTV will almost certainly work with Bluetooth LE and WiFi.
        Unless Phillips changes course and starts releasing new light bulbs with Bluetooth instead of Zigbee, a hub will always be needed.

      • Jack Johnson - 7 years ago

        I can do everything you just mentioned with smart things / harmony integration. And I do it all by talking to my amazon echo

    • BounouGod (@BounouGod) - 7 years ago

      This is hardly Apple’s fault, Hue lights require a bridge this is the just the upgraded version of it that offers support for HomeKit. Maybe at some point Hue will allow you to just use the new Apple TV’s as the hub but in order to use the pri=oduct you need a hub.

  2. Kenmakara Sok - 7 years ago

    Yes.

  3. irelandjnr - 7 years ago

    What we need is a bulb we can buy and pop into the light fixture that appears in the app and asks for your wifi password. No bridging hardware at all. There needs to be a chip in each bulb that makes this happen. These bridges are messy and unnecessary.

    • Jonny - 7 years ago

      Talking out of my A here but I think the benefit of the bridge in this scenario is that those chips (and required HomeKit chips) cost money and by putting the wifi/homekit in the bridge, we only pay for it once and then each bulb is then cheaper. With completely made-up numbers and a set-up with 10 bulbs: Bridge $60 + $20/bulb = $260, No bridge + $30/bulb = $300. I don’t know the exact numbers but the benefit of not putting all of that tech in each bulb means that each component would be cheaper.

  4. hayesunt - 7 years ago

    How does 60 euros equal 60 dollars?

Author

Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.