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.