The Internet of Thing (IoT) isn't just about connected refrigerators and toasters sending you email. It's about lighting, too. Today the AllSeen Alliance announced the formation of a new Connected Lighting Working Group that is tasked with building out a framework for network-enabled lighting.
Brian Vogelsang, contributor to the Connected Lighting Working Group for the AllSeen Alliance and director, Product Management at Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc., told Enterprise Networking Planet that connected lighting is about much more than simply turning the lights on and off.
"There is a lot more to it, when you can transform the ordinary light bulb into a small computer with chips, memory, radio, networking components and intelligent software," Vogelsang said.
The connected lighting can interact with a user's TV, audio system, garage door opener, smoke alarm or other newly smart objects like door locks. Overall, Vogelsang said that the Connected Lighting Working Group has a big mission. That mission is to collaborate on an open software framework that will enable connected world experiences and interactions.
Those connected interactions could allow lighting to automatically adjust brightness and color as soon as the HDTV is turned on, or intelligently set mood lighting based on the music coming from an audio system. It's a framework that one day could turn on the lights when the homeowner comes home, thanks to lighting's interaction with a smart garage door opener or door locks, and that can turn the lights off when the house is empty.
"When you consider that the number of light bulbs in a 2,000-square-foot house typically totals 70 or more, lighting has the potential to be one of the IoT’s first and most noticeable impacts in everyday life," Vogelsang said.
From a technology perspective, Vogelsang explained that the Connected Lighting Working Group is an expansion of AllJoyn to include a new lighting service framework, providing an open and common way of communicating with connected lighting products. AllJoyn is the open-source framework first developed by Qualcomm that sits at the core of the AllSeen Alliance platform.
The idea of connected lighting is not a new one in the consumer space and is already being delivered by Philips with its Hue product line. Vogelsang commented that the AllSeen Alliance is all about allowing everything to interact with each other, whether they’re connected by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, powerline or protocols like ZigBee, Z-Wave and Thread.
"The objective is to drive more interoperability and make sure all the things in the Internet of Everything can work together," Vogelsang said. "Since AllJoyn is an open source software framework, any developer and hardware manufacturer is able to use the code. Thus Philips could certainly choose to use the framework in their Hue product if they so choose."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.