Via The Verge: Sony is adding the guts of a smartphone into a residential ceiling light, copying some of the concepts of Amazon’s Echo voice-controlled product.
If 2016 is the year of connected gadgets doing all the things smartphones can’t, Sony is taking the idea to the extreme. The company’s newest appliance, the Multifunctional Light, performs an absurd amount of functions you’d never expect — and maybe don’t even want — out of an overhead fixture. (But don’t expect whoever named it to win any creativity awards.)
It can communicate with other appliances like air conditioning units and thermostats with data from its humidity sensors, talk to your TV using infrared to turn it on when its motion sensors detect you’re in the room, and act as a household intercom system equipped with speakers and a microphone. It even has a microSD card slot for some completely inexplicable reason. All of these functions can be controlled via a smartphone app when you’re inside or away from your home.
This seems like the ultimate “tech in search of a problem”, but it is an interesting trend indicator none-the-less. It hints at the application scenarios that Samsung, Nest, Google, Amazon (and rumored Apple) are chasing.