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First look: MiPow PlayBulb, an iPhone-connected Bluetooth light bulb & speaker

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
One of the more unique products at this year's Consumer Electronics Show is the MiPow PlayBulb, a device that integrates both an LED lightbulb and a Bluetooth speaker into one iPhone-connected accessory. AppleInsider offers a first look.

PlayBulb


Brian Holmes, vice president and general manager of MiPow, explained that the PlayBulb is a Bluetooth 4.0 lightbulb with music. It actually includes two separate Bluetooth chips in it, so that it can use machine-to-machine profiles, allowing the light and music to use the correct Bluetooth profiles simultaneously.

The device has 80 LED lights at the top, which creates enough light to be equivalent with a standard 60-watt bulb.

Holmes told AppleInsider that the goal of the PlayBulb was to "blend into the background," whether the device is being used in a patio or a dorm room. The combination device allows for both convenience and space savings, allowing people to listen to music from a speaker that's doesn't exactly stand out.

The PlayBulb is the first of a series of products being planned by MiPow. The company says it plans to offer new options with various colors and form factors in the future.

PlayBulb


The PlayBulb's design has radiating audio out of the side of the device --?the company said this gives the bulb the best audio quality, while also allowing the device to work with a larger range of light fixtures, such as lampshades and ceiling fans.

PlayBulb is not meant to be a user's primary stereo system, but we believe the accessory does make sense for use where background music may be desirable, but setting up speakers could be a hassle.

A dedicated application allows the PlayBulb to be used as an alarm clock, playing music and gradually increasing the light. The device supports iOS and handsets running Android 4.3.X and newer.

At this time we noticed that PlayBulb does not permit controlling multiple lights for multiple room schemes. Currently, each Bulb is turned on or off individually, but MiPow promises that multi-room controls are coming in the future.

The PlayBulb will retail for $79, and is expected to launch this quarter alongside the official application on the iOS App Store.
post #2 of 17

Okay, now this isn’t as terrible an idea as “smart lightbulbs” (with color and control the like), but it’s still doing the wrong thing.

 

Why would I want to spend $40 (wait, no, these are $80. HAHAHAHAHAHAH) on a LIGHT BULB when instead we could have, oh, I don’t know…

 

Hardware that screws into the socket between the bulb and controls this stuff? That way we could buy stupid light bulbs for CHEAP and not throw away expensive technology when it comes time to change them.

 

It’s probably expensive to get speakers built into your walls or whatever. What’s not expensive would be speakers that you could screw into any available light socket. In that respect, it’s a great idea, but I’m not spending EIGHTY DOLLARS on a light bulb.

 

And who says I want to have the lights on when I listen to music?

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post #3 of 17
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

One of the more unique products ...

unique is a binary: something is either unique or it is not. there are no intermediary degrees. jhc.
post #4 of 17
Interesting idea... now Phillips should put speakers into their Hue bulbs so you can set the mood with light and sound all throughout the home and control them all together or independently.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Okay, now this isn’t as terrible an idea as “smart lightbulbs” (with color and control the like), but it’s still doing the wrong thing.

 

Why would I want to spend $40 (wait, no, these are $80. HAHAHAHAHAHAH) on a LIGHT BULB when instead we could have, oh, I don’t know…

 

Hardware that screws into the socket between the bulb and controls this stuff? That way we could buy stupid light bulbs for CHEAP and not throw away expensive technology when it comes time to change them.

 

It’s probably expensive to get speakers built into your walls or whatever. What’s not expensive would be speakers that you could screw into any available light socket. In that respect, it’s a great idea, but I’m not spending EIGHTY DOLLARS on a light bulb.

 

And who says I want to have the lights on when I listen to music?

Agreed, though LED bulbs can last for ~25 years so the hardware will be outdated well before the light bulb 'burns out'

post #6 of 17
I kind of like this idea. But ... I'm not sure why. I guess I'm still waiting for the lightbulb to come on.
post #7 of 17

For some reason, I thought of a "color organ" when I read this.  Getting nostalgic for old Radio Shack gizmos now...

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, now this isn’t as terrible an idea as “smart lightbulbs” (with color and control the like), but it’s still doing the wrong thing.

Why would I want to spend $40 (wait, no, these are $80. HAHAHAHAHAHAH) on a LIGHT BULB when instead we could have, oh, I don’t know…

Hardware that screws into the socket between the bulb and controls this stuff? That way we could buy stupid light bulbs for CHEAP and not throw away expensive technology when it comes time to change them.

It’s probably expensive to get speakers built into your walls or whatever. What’s not expensive would be speakers that you could screw into any available light socket. In that respect, it’s a great idea, but I’m not spending EIGHTY DOLLARS on a light bulb.

And who says I want to have the lights on when I listen to music?

Agreed. Seems wasteful to throw out the tech along with the bulb. There would need to be some sort of recycle center.

Why not make socket speakers for home theater systems instead of they way things are done now (minus this light idea). Install a pivotable mount on your wall that you can screw different speakers into. That way if one goes bad / outdated all you have to do is unscrew the old and screw in the new - no messing with wires at all. However, that would require a standard fixture, though, much like the light socket...

W. Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in physics, said that all scientific methods fail when questions of origin are involved.


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W. Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in physics, said that all scientific methods fail when questions of origin are involved.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

http://www.answersingenesis.org...

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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Okay, now this isn’t as terrible an idea as “smart lightbulbs” (with color and control the like), but it’s still doing the wrong thing.

 

Why would I want to spend $40 (wait, no, these are $80. HAHAHAHAHAHAH) on a LIGHT BULB when instead we could have, oh, I don’t know…

 

Hardware that screws into the socket between the bulb and controls this stuff? That way we could buy stupid light bulbs for CHEAP and not throw away expensive technology when it comes time to change them.

 

It’s probably expensive to get speakers built into your walls or whatever. What’s not expensive would be speakers that you could screw into any available light socket. In that respect, it’s a great idea, but I’m not spending EIGHTY DOLLARS on a light bulb.

 

And who says I want to have the lights on when I listen to music?

Amen. Because they (and by 'they' I mean every brand of controllable LED bulb) want to charge ridiculous amounts for the technology. For whatever reason, they can't stomach the idea of selling a small hardware collar at a reasonable price per unit ($19), and letting us buy regular NON-frigging-LED light bulbs to use and replace as we wish.

 

Give it time. Someone will undercut.

post #10 of 17
I would want at least two capable of splitting into left and right stereo.
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post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, now this isn’t as terrible an idea as “smart lightbulbs” (with color and control the like), but it’s still doing the wrong thing.

Why would I want to spend $40 (wait, no, these are $80. HAHAHAHAHAHAH) on a LIGHT BULB when instead we could have, oh, I don’t know…

Hardware that screws into the socket between the bulb and controls this stuff? That way we could buy stupid light bulbs for CHEAP and not throw away expensive technology when it comes time to change them.

It’s probably expensive to get speakers built into your walls or whatever. What’s not expensive would be speakers that you could screw into any available light socket. In that respect, it’s a great idea, but I’m not spending EIGHTY DOLLARS on a light bulb.

And who says I want to have the lights on when I listen to music?

I will say that led lightbulbs last a very long time. And is there a way to change the color of a bulb if it's not led? I don't think so anyways. Does seem expensive, but it's a good idea.
post #12 of 17

This, like so many other innovations at C.E.S., are the fulfilment of Steve Jobs’ long prediction that computers will eventually disappear into the background and we won’t even notice them anymore.

 

Also, I’m not sure why people are whining about the price.  I guess they’ve never priced an LED light bulb, a Bluetooth speaker, and the value that comes from there being no power cord to hide.  For people who don’t live in dorms or basements, having speakers without having wires is a massive plus.

post #13 of 17
This would be nice in a bathroom instead of a shower speaker, provided it has decent volume.
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by Reaperducer View Post

I guess they’ve never priced an LED light bulb, a Bluetooth speaker, and the value that comes from there being no power cord to hide.

 

I guess you missed the point entirely.

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post #15 of 17

Can they make this into a doorknob? It would save even more space.

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post #16 of 17
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
Can they make this into a doorknob? It would save even more space.

 

And it would double (triple? quadruple?) as a theft deterrent. Since the door would have to be electrified, just set the knob to shock anyone who touches it to death when locked.

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post #17 of 17

Interesting.  Saw the AwoX StriimLight and now this.   I think it's a good idea depending on the sound quality.   As crazy as it sounds it may be a good option for those rooms you'd never think a speaker should be in (i.e bathroom) 

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