Philips graciously released an API for their Hue smartphone-controlled smart lightbulb to let developers tinker back a few months ago, and already there are a number of apps taking advantage. Today, mobile design firm Fresh Tilled Soil is showing off the hack it put together using that API and the IFTTT service for simple web-based programming to allow users to control their Philips system via text message.
As you can see in the video, it just requires that you send messages to a number assigned by IFTTT with the color you want the lightbulbs to change to, and that info is passed on to the Philips router connected to your Internet connection to relay the messages to the bulbs themselves. You can specify the flicker pattern, and use the Philips Hue iPhone app to do a bunch more neat stuff, like change the lights to match the background color of a picture taken with the phone, for instance.
Fresh Tilled Soil provides a step-by-step guide of how they made this work on the site, so enterprising Hue owners are free to try it at home for themselves, and it doesn’t look too difficult thanks to the ease of using IFTTT. Philips is moving quickly in this space, probably to block out startup competitors like Lifx, but that competition is opening up lots of opportunities for devs and smart hacks like this one. It’s a very good time to be in the smart home space, as this seems like a crucial turning point that could lead to much wider mass market adoption of said technologies.