A brand new app called Goldee launches today, offering Phlips Hue users a new way to use their connected lighting system. The app provides dynamic “light scenes” which use artist-sourced photos as their palette, changing tones gradually to provide dynamic shifts in color, including gradual on/off sequences for waking up in the morning or going to sleep at night.
There are 10 different scenes included in the app at launch, each which a brief description and credits (citing the scene’s creator, the photographer of the source image and the location where it was taken). Tapping on any starts the dynamic lighting, with each bulb attached to your Philips Hue system taking part. You can specific if you have multiple rooms in a single home with Hue bulbs, too, and run a different scene for each. The first light scene also has an alarm feature, and the last one has a sleep timer for going to bed.
The app works well, but there are some caveats – you have to have the app running in the foreground to get the dynamic effect to work, and the screensaver built-in to keep your display from using too much juice is a little finicky when it comes to returning your display to full brightness once you activate the screen again. But on the whole, it’s a unique experience, and one that Hue owners are likely to appreciate.
“The Goldee team started innovating home lighting even before Philips hue was introduced,” Goldee CEO Tomas Baran explained in an interview. “We figured out right away that Philips hue is a very good tool to build upon [with lighting]. However, the Goldee App is only our first step towards changing how we perceive and interact with light.”
Baran says that there are plans in place to do “something much bigger,” which he expects to reveal more about later this year. He calls light “a new form of art,” hence sourcing its scenes from people with experience in that field, and notes that light is never static in nature. I asked whether this might be a bit narrow in terms of focus for a whole company, but Baran says Goldee is betting we’re just seeing the beginning of change in this space.
“Every new thing is risky in the beginning, but if we wait until it becomes popular it will already be too late,” he said. “We believe a revolution has started in the lighting sector with smart LEDs. We have no doubt this will be the future. We used to watch black-and-white TVs, nowadays we cannot imagine a display without colors. Obviously, it will take time, but we see the same thing happening with light. “
The app is free, and so far the only content that’s locked within the app can be made available via either rating the app or sharing via Twitter and Facebook. There is a “library” section that promises to add additional light scenes in future, and some of those may arrive as paid upgrades. For now, Goldee is a well-executed curiosity, but it’ll be interesting to see if smart lights really do herald the kinds of changes Baran envisions.