The Philips' Web-addressable LED light bulb could be the start of a wave of Internet of Things devices. Are we ready?
The first question is: Why is the hue starter kit being made available exclusively through Apple stores?
My guess is that Philips understands that being able to control domestic lighting from an iPad (or Android tablet) will appeal mostly to early adopters. Those most easily parted from their money tend to shop at the Apple store. Once the Apple fanatics have all bought into hue, the exclusivity will be dropped along with the price.
Second question: Have we thought through the implications of the Internet of Things?
How would we feel someone about remotely controlling lighting levels while we're in the room? What about using lighting with a built-in capability to report usage patterns to third parties like utilities?
While these features were intended as conveniences, the transfer of that degree of intelligence from a limited set of electronic devices to familiar and formerly inanimate objects will be emotionally challenging.