After its recent pivot into home security with a new line of security cameras, Philips Hue is reportedly poised to debut a feature that turns its smart bulbs into motion sensors.
If true, the move would make sense, given that WiZ, a smart lighting brand owned by Philips Hue parent Signify, already offers similar functionality for its Wi-Fi smart lights (such as its WiZ Bar Linear Light).
WiZ calls its motion-detection technology SpaceSense, and according to HueBlog (a reliable source of Philips Hue rumors), Hue has been “working on the function for several years.”
WiZ’s SpaceSense feature works by detecting disturbances in Wi-Fi signals between two or more WiZ smart lights. One light is designated as a “beacon,” while two or more nearby lights are assigned “processor” roles.
As people come and go near SpaceSense-enabled WiZ lights, they disrupt the Wi-Fi signals between the bulbs, and WiZ’s SpaceSense functionality can interpret those disturbances as motion. The technology is sensitive enough to distinguish between pets and humans.
As HueBlog points out, Philips Hue employs Zigbee wireless connectivity rather than Wi-Fi for its smart bulbs, but it’s reasonable to assume a SpaceSense-type feature could be developed for Zigbee, too.
So, is Philips Hue looking to follow in WiZ’s footsteps with its own version of SpaceSense? It certainly seems plausible, given that Hue already followed WiZ’s lead with security cameras. Hue also took cues from WiZ with “light alarms” that flash designated smart lights when suspicious activity is detected.
Alongside the cameras, Philips Hue teed up a contact sensor that can be mounted on a window, door, or cabinet. Hue has long offered a motion sensor, although that product was primarily focused on turning a room’s lights on and off as people entered and left the area.
Philips Hue’s move into home security came three months after WiZ introduced its first security camera, the WiZ Indoor Camera.
When might Philips Hue unveil its own take on SpaceSense? “Probably next year,” HueBlog guesses, potentially as early as CES in January (although it’s worth noting that Hue has kept a low profile at CES in recent years). Stay tuned.