TechCrunch reports that Philips has created an official developer program for its Wi-Fi connected Hue home lighting system, which includes an SDK for iOS and APIs to allow hardware and software developers to integrate Hue into their products.
Hue, which is exclusive to iOS, allows users to control LED lightbulbs via the iPhone and an accompanying bridge that uses the ZigBee communication protocol.
"We're now at a point where there are already about 10 applications that have been shared and built from the unofficial developer community for new applications around Hue," explained George Yianni, Hue System Architect in an interview. "Now what we want to do as Philips is we actually want to help and grow and encourage this community, and give them tools and proper documentation. Also, we want to give them commitment that this is the API and we’re going to support it and it won’t change overnight."
Though Hue-integrated third party apps such as last week’s Ambify have been released, these solutions do not use official APIs. According to Yianni, the unavailability of official APIs is the main reason that the Hue has yet to be integrated into additional apps and connected home devices.
The new Hue tools are freely available for all developers interested in creating a product or an app that connects to the system.
Philips plans to add additional functionality to the Hue in the future, focusing on geofencing, scheduling, and other sensor capabilities. The company is also working on expanding the Hue line with new lightbulb types.