On Sept. 5, lighting manufacturer Osram Sylvania and Internet-connected devices developer Belkin announced that they will partner to collaborate on the development of Osram’s Lightify smart-lighting system and Belkin’s WeMo home-automation network. By working together, the manufacturer-developer duo aims to improve compatibility and communication among Web-enabled devices and the home-control systems with which they are synced.
“We are shaping the future of lighting by delivering not only long-life, energy saving LED solutions, but also by creating an experience that changes the way people think about their lighting,” said Jes Munk Hansen, Osram Sylvania’s president and CEO, in a press release.
To kickstart the partnership, Osram Sylvania will add WeMo functionality to its Ultra iQ BR30 LED lamp this fall. Following the launch of Osram Lightify in Europe, also occurring this fall, the company will make more of its lighting products WeMo-compatible. The iQ LED lamps will be controllable from a WeMo app and will work with the range of WeMo products, including a light switch and a home-surveillance camera. Additionally, the lamps will be capable of syncing with the Web-based platform If This Then That (IFTTT), which lets users pre-set the performance of one device or platform based on the fulfillment of a customizable condition—for example, users can receive a text message when the lights in their home are turned on or off.
The two companies join a growing list of businesses that have partnered to improve the efficacy of the connected home. Last month, led by Google’s Nest Labs, a group of manufacturers launched the nonprofit Thread Group to develop an open, low-power mesh network based on the current Internet Protocol that allows smart devices from different manufacturers to communicate better wirelessly. Big Ass Fans, which makes industrial fans and residential ceiling fans and that is a part of the Thread Group, partnered with Nest to let users sync its already-smart residential Haiku fan to their Nest Thermostats. And single manufacturer-developer startups are also entering the game—for example, Stack Lighting’s new Alba BR30 lamp is Web-enabled, motion-sensing, and claims to learn from and respond to environmental conditions by adjusting features such as its color temperature, setting it apart from other smart lamps, Fast Company’s CoDesign reports.
Beyond giving consumers access to data and around-the-clock control of their devices and systems, the developer-manufacturer partnerships like Osram’s and Belkin’s as well as Big Ass Fans’ and Nest’s show the potential for scalability. Said Sunny Choi, Belkin’s vice-president of corporate development: “We started out with the goal of making WeMo the most approachable entry point to the smart home … The addition of Osram Lightify to our ecosystem enables more devices to communicate with each other to create a smart home easily and affordably, one solution at a time.”