Philips has finally added support for Apple's HomeKit to its Hue smart lighting system. Now, iPhone and Apple Watch owners can communicate with their Hue bulbs without having to switch between multiple apps.
The Hue Bridge 2.0 is square and slightly smaller than its predecessor, and works almost exactly the same, but with one special addition. It now works directly with Siri for voice command actions.
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It still supports the same third-party systems it always has so users won't have to replace any of their smart connected setups like SmartThings and IFTT. However, because HomeKit does require special hardware, iPhone owners that want Siri's help adjusting the lights will have to purchase the new Hue Bridge.
Luckily, owners of the first-generation hub will get a $20 discount on replacing it with the new model until the end of 2015. Hue Bridge 2.0 normally costs $60, but is also included in the Hue Starter Kit for $200, which also includes three smartbulbs.
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Thanks to Apple Watch's Siri integration, and Siri's close connection with HomeKit, users will be able to lift their wrist and say, "Hey Siri, turn on the party lights" to set a multicoloured living room scene that will glow with aplomb.
It's not just for lighting either. Philips has designed the Hue Bridge for compatibility with different connected home devices, including smart locks and thermostats. The hope is that, someday, all of your smart gadgets will connect via the Hue Bridge so you can set the scene you want with one simple request on Apple Watch, "Hey Siri, set my home to relax."