WigWag intros new lights and a platform for the internet of things

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WigWag, the Austin, Texas company that last year launched a pretty cool sensor and hub for the internet of things is preparing to ship its Kickstarter projects at long last, but is also taking pre-orders for connected light bulbs that have a bunch of compelling features and a good price tag. Tucked amid the product news is the launch of something a bit more interesting — the creation and release of DeviceJS, the WigWag-designed runtime for the internet of things.

That’s a lot to digest, so let’s start with the products. There are three notable bits of news around the three products.

  • The end points: The generic WigWag sensor block detects motion, temperature, humidity, noise, vibration, acceleration, and ambient light. It’s pretty powerful. Wigwag also offer a glowing light strip and a tag that can both offer presence as well as act as a physical button to trigger rules that you’ve preset. The sensor block was part of the original Kickstarter and will start shipping in October. Originally the plan was to start shipping in November 2013, which has led to some angry supporters.
  • The Relay: This is WigWag’s hub and it contains Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Insteon radios. It also has an application processor and 2 GB of storage so programs can be stored and executed from the hub even if it is offline. Programs are stored in the Relay and in the WigWag cloud.
  • The Filament: These are the new products: a connected light bulbs that can range in cost from $25 to $50 per bulb depending on how many are ordered. They are both dimmable and can handle a huge variety of colors as well as cool and warm white lights. For the price, this is an amazing option. Ed Hemphill, CEO and co-founder of WigWag, said his goal was to take the lights beyond an expensive toy that people sprinkle throughout their home. By making it possible to put them in all your sockets they become more than just a novelty and people will build practical applications for them. Using the Relay with Filament, you can tie existing Philips, LIFX and other connected lights to the Filament bulbs to create different effects. Pre-orders will ship in October or November.

And now onto the infrastructure

Hemphill explained that WigWag isn’t just about the hardware. The platform is a way to show off the capabilities of DeviceJS, a runtime environment that combines the ease of programming that Java does for the web, for devices and the internet of things. Hemphill is most excited about letting products use DeviceJS because it will let web developers access physical devices and presumably lead to a variety of innovative services.

WigWag will make DeviceJS available next month when it ships its first products and it will initially run on WigWag gear and Raspberry Pis. But Hemphill hopes others will port the code to their devices since it will make the DeviceJS and the WigWag ecosystem richer. In this way it hopes to gain market relevance — something every other platform aimed at the smart home is also attempting.

The benefit of using a runtime environment is that it can incorporate existing standards already on the market, which is what DeviceJS aims to do. However, it’s still a question if it will gain a market outside of WigWag users. Maybe if Filament lights make it big.

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