The IFA electronics trade show is underway in Germany right now and Philips has today taken the opportunity to announce two very interesting pieces of news relating to its Philips Hue lighting at the event.
The first, support for Apple’s Siri Shortcuts later this year will be big, big for HomeKit users while the addition of a third type of light switch will be of more interest to the general Philips Hue-owning audience.
Starting off with Siri Shortcuts, Hue owners will apparently be able to add new lighting recipes to their own Siri shortcuts, allowing complex automation to be kicked off following commands which are spoken to Siri.
With the addition of Siri Shortcuts support, it’s feasible that a shortcut could be created to monitor the time of day and then set the lights to a particular color, turn the TV on and close the curtains. Users will also be able to begin the automation via their HomePod or, if they’d prefer, a simple tap of a button on their iOS device. Users will need to wait for Philips to implement support for Siri Shortcuts, although Apple will need to get iOS 12 out the door first.
On the hardware side, Philips also announced a new switch to join the existing Smart Dimmer Switch and Tap. The new switch appears to be a combination of the two, although Philips will not be making the switch itself and will instead farm it out to other manufacturers under the Friends of Hue scheme.
Philips is adding a fleet of lighting manufacturers to its “Friends of Hue” – one in the US and several in Europe, where switches are more diverse in design. The aim: Bring new, self-powering, Hue-compatible light switches to consumers. The first switch, pictured here, comes from Illumra and will arrive in the US by the end of this year. The European models will arrive early in 2019.
Regardless of who builds the new switches, they will be HomeKit-compatible which will also make them compatible with Siri Shortcuts, too.
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