Signify answers users' call with new version of Hue app

June 3, 2021
The fourth generation makes it easier to set scenes and to deploy the app in different locations.

With the residential market for smart lighting proving to be buoyant in stay-at-home pandemic times, Signify made its second move in recent weeks to enhance its Hue smart lighting system, this time introducing a new control app that it described as “rebuilt from the ground up.”

The fourth-generation Philips Hue app includes a new “Tile View” that represents all the lights in a room and allows users to set scenes involving those lights without toggling back and forth between screens as they have had to do with earlier versions of the app.

Signify has also added a “scene gallery” to the app's home section, which displays preset scenes from which to chose.

The Zigbee-oriented Hue is regarded as a more upmarket system than Signify's less expensive, Wi-Fi oriented WiZ smart lighting system. In a move that backs up that positioning, Signify added a feature to the Hue app that lets users easily switch between multiple Hue systems that exist in the users' different homes or in different areas of the same home. Signify described this ability as “much requested.”

Addressing another of what it called  “the most requested and anticipated updates,” Signify added a “multi-user geofencing” feature that keeps the lights on at home even if the person in charge of the Hue automation leaves the house.

“We analyze suggestions and reviews and even co-create with our users via usability studies and beta apps,” said Signify's George Yianni, head of technology Philips Hue, adding that there will be “more innovations in the rest of the year.”

The app is available starting today via Apple and Google download.

Signify said current app users will be automatically updated via the Apple and Google stores.

“When opening the new app for the first time, users will be guided through migrating their current settings, light scenes, and routines into the app,” Signify said. “During this seamless process, they'll learn about the app's new features and changes.”

The new app comes a few weeks after Signify announced that it is making both Hue and WiZ compatible with Matter, a protocol that supports interoperability between all Internet-connected things in a smart home such as doorbells, locks, thermostats, TVs, virtual assistants, and TVs. Matter support is coming by the end of the year, Signify has said.

Hue and WiZ were bright spots in Signify's first-quarter results.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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