My light bulbs now respond to HTTP requests

I recently bought Hue Light bulbs, and I am very excited about the possibilities of these bulbs. And, as hoped, they can (subject to deep pockets as they cost £50 per bulb!) become the backbone of a nice lighting system @ home.
Essentially, these are LED light bulbs that just screw into a 220V light bulb socket. (Cheap, compact bayonet cap converters are available.) They switch on/off like a normal light bulb, but save a bit of energy and fade in/out so it's a bit nicer.

But wait. There's more. They can change colour too. And all can be controlled by an iPhone or Android app. And the idea is that you can set up a scene that has one corner of your room a bit more red, and the rest a bit more orange so that you get the feeling the sun is setting right in your living room, or blue & white to remind you of your Greek holiday...

Technically, the bulbs contain some Zigbee 2-way device to device communication that talks to the Philips Hue hub. The hub connects via Ethernet to your network. Therefore, your phone can talk to the hub, which can instruct the light bulb to switch on/off, dim bright and change colour. Or, you could go online (Google AppEngine powered), and control your lights from there.

What I find fascinating (beyond the actual lighting possibilities), is the power of building a hack-able light bulb. Good work Q42 & Philips!
E.g. this smart guy (Ross McKillop) sniffed some of the traffic, and figured out how to connect to Philips Hue hub, which exposes a web server and JSON API.
Right now, if I open a terminal window on my Mac, the following command will turn my living room red:
curl -X PUT -d '{"hue":0}' 192.168.5.27/api/86700128/lights/2/state
(mileage, IP address and secret key may vary)

Ultimately, I can image having a swish HTML5 UI running on phones/tablets at home that will allow me to quickly set the home scenes, and do more, like switch on some night lighting when someone gets up at night for some sleep walking, or automatically setting the right lighting when the DVD player is turned on.


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