Zuli Announces Philips Hue Integration for Motion-Sensing Lighting

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With origins on Kickstarter, the Zuli Smartplug is a device that acts as a buffer between a wall outlet and any electronic device, letting users control the connected appliance through a smartphone app. Today the company announced that it will be integrating that app with the popular Philips Hue lighting system, letting users interact with Hue lights directly within the Zuli app.


The synthesis between Zuli and Hue will also let the latter tap into the former's proprietary motion-sensing technology referred to as "Presence." With it, the Zuli Smartplug can detect when a user enters and leaves a room, adjusting and adapting to pre-set personal lighting preferences. When the room is left abandoned, the smartplug recognizes that too, and everything shuts off. Presence is designed to evolve over time and become "more predictive" with extended use.
"The fundamental problem with connected devices remains the same. You still have to pull out your phone, find the right app, find the right device, and then manually control it," says Taylor Umphreys, Chief Executive Officer, Zuli. "Zuli is solving this problem through its proprietary Presence technology. Zuli Presence enables our homes to know who is home, what room they are in, and how they like their lighting and temperature -- so our personal environments can adjust passively without the user having to do anything"
This "indoor location awareness" will now be available for Hue owners who invest in Zuli, and will give those users the ability to have all of their customized room-based scenes react to their entry into a room. The lighting systems housing the Hue bulbs do not need to be plugged directly into a Zuli Smartplug for the two to interact with one another, since Hue simply networks with Zuli after an initial system sync.


Zuli launched with another notable partnership in Nest, letting customers connect the learning thermostat to a Zuli Smartplug to notify the system when users enter and leave the house and adjust the temperature accordingly. As of now, there is no HomeKit integration or functionality with Zuli.

Hue users can test out Zuli's integration of the Philips lighting system by downloading the Zuli app [Direct Link] on the App Store. For anyone interested in all of Zuli's features, three Zuli Smartplugs are required to harness the full power of Presence. To start, users can purchase a 3-pack of the Zuli Smartplugs for $159.99 on the company's website.

Article Link: Zuli Announces Philips Hue Integration for Motion-Sensing Lighting
 

nicovh

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2015
354
721
Nederland
It'd be a great device to have in my home! When I am in a hurry it's just so inconvenient stop everything your doing, to take out your phone, load up the app and turn the lights off. This would be my savior in those moments!
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
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Although I would prefer HomeKit integration, the presence feature seems like a very good thing.
 

lowercaseperson

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2006
294
87
So am I understanding this right? I get this specific outlet and a Hue bulb. If
I then plug a lamp into the smart outlet, when I walk in the room they will both come on?

For clarification: I would have a hue blub in a ceiling fixture and a lamp with a regular bulb plugged directly into the smart outlet.
 

utwarreng

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2009
384
68
To piggyback on lowercaseperson's request for clarification, so once I setup my Hue Lightstrips with this in my kitchen, I can have one of these Presence sensors plugged into the kitchen, but the light strips can be plugged into a different different outlets, and those Lightstrips will still turn on? Zuli plugged into outlet A, Lightstrips on different sides of the kitchen plugged into outlets B & C.
 

Ben2998

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2015
15
74
Canada
Any idea how well this works with pets?
From a quick look at their website they seem to use BTLE to communicate between the phone and the plug and the system is able to change the room's settings depending on who's in the room. So it's probably using BTLE range detection.

If the system relies only on BTLE sensing, it won't detect pets unless the owner attach a smartphone to their collar which may look hilarious for a couple of minutes but might not be as useful.


For some reason, everytime I hear Zuli, I can't keep myself from thinking about Hooli from Silicon Valley.
 

Carmenia83

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2012
358
447
From a quick look at their website they seem to use BTLE to communicate between the phone and the plug and the system is able to change the room's settings depending on who's in the room. So it's probably using BTLE range detection.

If the system relies only on BTLE sensing, it won't detect pets unless the owner attach a smartphone to their collar which may look hilarious for a couple of minutes but might not be as useful.


For some reason, everytime I hear Zuli, I can't keep myself from thinking about Hooli from Silicon Valley.
Thank you! It was driving me nuts trying to figure out what sounded familiar about the name!
 

jacjustjac

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2008
219
323
New York, NY
From a quick look at their website they seem to use BTLE to communicate between the phone and the plug and the system is able to change the room's settings depending on who's in the room. So it's probably using BTLE range detection.

If the system relies only on BTLE sensing, it won't detect pets unless the owner attach a smartphone to their collar which may look hilarious for a couple of minutes but might not be as useful.


For some reason, everytime I hear Zuli, I can't keep myself from thinking about Hooli from Silicon Valley.
Haha, I should have read their website. That would explain why they recommend at least three (for triangulation, I assume) In my head I was comparing it to the Nest Protect smoke detector, which lit up its path light in the hallway every time my cat walked under it, and mess with the auto-away until I disabled it. BTLE would solve that particular caveat. Unfortunately I don't feel like wearing my smartphone on a collar either, which I would need because I don't tend to carry my phone around while I'm at home. If it worked with the Apple Watch, maybe... But either way, this tech is cool whether or not I need it. And these guys with their startups and incubators are doing way more to spark people's imagination than most public figures.

And thanks for reminding me that I need to finish that last season!
 

ross.alex.k

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2009
4
0
Can I just ask a stupid question? Which of these options is easier, flipping a light switch, or all this app-connected business?

It is altogether possible to simply install a motion sensing light switch, easy and cheap. Don't get me wrong, I use a HomeKit thermostat and app-controlled Security System, but I just don't see the importance for something as basic as LIGHTS.
 

earthTOmitchel

Contributing Editor
Staff member
Mar 6, 2015
388
582
Louisiana
To piggyback on lowercaseperson's request for clarification, so once I setup my Hue Lightstrips with this in my kitchen, I can have one of these Presence sensors plugged into the kitchen, but the light strips can be plugged into a different different outlets, and those Lightstrips will still turn on? Zuli plugged into outlet A, Lightstrips on different sides of the kitchen plugged into outlets B & C.
That is correct. The Hue bulbs and the device they are connected to (or the lightstrips themselves, as you said) do NOT have to be plugged directly into the Zuli Smartplug. I asked the company directly about this, and they confirmed. Zuli simply networks with Hue once everything is connected within the app.
 
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