Philips Lighting
Philips Lighting

App Syncs Your Lights and Computer to Create the Perfect Mood Lighting

Philips Lighting
Philips Lighting

Smart lighting systems aren't just about getting Alexa to turn on your lights anymore. Now, they're creating "immersive experiences," according to Philips Lighting, which just launched new software that will allow users to sync up their lights to video games, music, and movies.

As Engadget reports, the Hue Sync app will debut later this year and will let you program your Philips Hue smart lights to change according to your entertainment—say, changing colors to match the mood of the song you're playing or adjusting brightness to make your gaming session easier on the eyes.

A cell phone open to an app that shows a color wheel
Philips Lighting

To kick off the app's debut, the company has partnered with the gaming company Razer to integrate Sync into video games. According to Philips, it will create "immediate, immersive light scripts for any game, movie, or music played on the computer." You'll be able to set the scene for a romantic date night soundtracked to Marvin Gaye or create the perfect stage lighting for your kid's dramatic reenactment of Phineas and Ferb's latest antics on Netflix.

The system connects to your PC or Mac, so it will only work if you're watching TV or playing games on your computer, though, not on devices like Roku or Xbox. There aren't a whole lot of details available about its release yet, so stay tuned for more intel on what the app will be able to do once it's released.

[h/t Engadget]

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iStock
A New App Interprets Sign Language for the Amazon Echo
iStock
iStock

The convenience of the Amazon Echo smart speaker only goes so far. Without any sort of visual interface, the voice-activated home assistant isn't very useful for deaf people—Alexa only understands three languages, none of which are American Sign Language. But Fast Company reports that one programmer has invented an ingenious system that allows the Echo to communicate visually.

Abhishek Singh's new artificial intelligence app acts as an interpreter between deaf people and Alexa. For it to work, users must sign at a web cam that's connected to a computer. The app translates the ASL signs from the webcam into text and reads it aloud for Alexa to hear. When Alexa talks back, the app generates a text version of the response for the user to read.

Singh had to teach his system ASL himself by signing various words at his web cam repeatedly. Working within the machine-learning platform Tensorflow, the AI program eventually collected enough data to recognize the meaning of certain gestures automatically.

While Amazon does have two smart home devices with screens—the Echo Show and Echo Spot—for now, Singh's app is one of the best options out there for signers using voice assistants that don't have visual components. He plans to make the code open-source and share his full methodology in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible.

Watch his demo in the video below.

[h/t Fast Company]

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Ralph Gatti, AFP/Getty Images
The 'David Bowie Is' Exhibition Is Coming to Your Smartphone
 Ralph Gatti, AFP/Getty Images
Ralph Gatti, AFP/Getty Images

"David Bowie is," an exhibition dedicated to the life, work, and legacy of the pop icon, concluded its six-year world tour on July 15. If you didn't get a chance to see it in person at its final stop at New York City's Brooklyn Museum, you can still experience the exhibit at home. As engadget reports, the artifacts displayed in the collection will be recreated in virtual and augmented reality.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, the curator of the exhibit, and the David Bowie Archive are collaborating with Sony Music Entertainment and the sound and media studio Planeta on the new project, "David Bowie is Virtual." Like the physical exhibition, the digital experience will integrate visual scenes with the music of David Bowie: 3D scans will bring the musician's costumes and personal items into the virtual sphere, allowing viewers to examine them up close, and possibly in the case of the outfits, try them on.

"These new digital versions of ‘David Bowie is’ will add unprecedented depth and intimacy to the exhibition experience, allowing the viewer to engage with the work of one of the world’s most popular and influential artists as never before," the announcement of the project reads. "Both the visual richness of this show and the visionary nature of Bowie and his art makes this a particularly ideal candidate for a VR/AR adaptation."

"David Bowie is Virtual" will be released for smartphones and all major VR and AR platforms sometimes this fall. Like the museum exhibition, it will come with an admission price, with a portion of the proceeds going toward the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Brooklyn Museum.

[h/t engadget]

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