Want that cinema experience at home? Philips, the makers of the Hue light bulbs have teamed up with the Syfy channel to create a Hue-based ambient lighting track to run with both Sharknado and Sharknado 2 ahead of the sequel’s launch next Wednesday.
Yes, this is silly, but having recently testing an immersive lighting app called Huey with my LIFX and Hue bulbs in my living room, the experience of lighting that matches your television is pretty awesome. And I wasn’t even watching anything all that special (it was The Mindy Show, guys). I probably should have gotten more ambition and queued up Blue Planet or Alien for a real test.
However, the Huey app was a total pain to use for more than a few minutes because it relied on the microphone and camera from my phone to transmit the TV screen information to my lights, which meant the phone needed to be placed just so and plugged in to generate the effect. That’s not really tenable, making the app more of a gimmick than anything useful. But it was free and it also showed me another way I could use my Hue and LIFX bulbs that might justify the somewhat insane price tags ($60 and $99 per bulb, respectively.)
That is why the creation of a lighting track for Sharknado 2 caught my eye. In this case I can just download the Syfy Synch app to iOS or Android devices, sync it to my Hue lights and select Sharknado. After a moment, my Sharknado experience is enhanced by my lights dimming, changing colors and reacting to the colors on the screen. The app uses my phone’s mic to sync the lights with the show.
Unfortunately, it’s daylight right now as I tested this, so the full effect is lost on me, but I adored the cheesiness of the lights switching to red every time a shark took a chunk out of someone. And the lightning effect was awesome. And depending on how challenging it is to create such tracks, I have to admit I would love to use them on other movies to get a more immersive experience. And I’m not the only one. DIY solutions and Kickstarters for creating immersive light are popular online.
So the question I have is whether or not this is something that might help justify the cost of Hue lights for people and also tempt them to download apps from various content companies.