Cree Smart Bulbs Controlled by iOS, Android Devices
The light bulb maker jumps into the IoT market with a light bulb that can be managed remotely through mobile devices and costs $15.Light bulb maker Cree has created a smart bulb that not only connects to the Internet, but comes in at a price of $15. Cree officials on Jan. 15 introduced the Connected Cree LED Bulb, a 60-watt bulb that can be controlled through an Apple iOS or Google Android device. Through the smartphones, users anywhere in the world can dim or brighten their lights, schedule the lights to go on or off at specific times. That is particularly important for added security when the user is away from the house. The bulb is compatible with the Wink and ZigBee platforms, according to Cree officials. The connected bulb creates a simple user experience for consumers seeking device connectivity in their homes," Cree Chief Marketing Officer Betty Noonan said in a statement, adding that it offers the "combination of a superior LED light experience with multi-platform compatibility, all at an affordable price." Cree's bulb joins the growing number of connected devices that make up the rapidly expanding Internet of things (IoT). Cisco Systems officials predict that the number of connected things—from smartphones, tablets and laptops to cars, industrial systems, health care devices, wearables and home appliances—will grow from 25 billion in 2014 to more than 50 billion by 2020.
Lighting is seen as a natural fit for the IoT. The AllSeen Alliance, an industry consortium that is developing an open framework based on the AllJoyn code to enable easier interoperability between connected devices, systems and sensors, in October established a connected lighting working group to create a standard for smart light bulbs to connect with other devices. Earlier this month, Qualcomm said it was working with smart-lighting technology vendor Lifx to create a connected-lighting platform and an LED bulb design based on the work by the AllSeen group.