The app works by creating light scripts for nearby Hue lights, based on screen-grabbed content from the Mac and what Philips calls a "smart color algorithm." With this information gathered, the app then matches the chosen Hue lights to the on-screen action of games and films in real time.
For music, Philips Hue Sync creates light scripts based on the beat and type of song "on the fly," and matches the playing music with dynamic lighting effects. Any of these features can be further customized, including brightness levels, "immersion controls" from subtle to intense, and a mode change for easily switching out the color pallet.
To set up the app, users will need to create a new entertainment area within the updated Philips Hue app on iOS or Android devices. Entertainment areas can encompass everything from one Hue bulb to a collection of devices like Hue Light Strips and table lamps (totaling up to 10 lights), but they most be color capable. Then simply download the Philips Hue Sync app for Mac, connect to a bridge, and choose the new entertainment area in the start-up menu.
Following the 3.0 iOS app update and the new Sync app for Mac, Philips is planning a line of Hue lights for outdoors that will be coming in July. With the outdoor Hue bulbs, users can connect and control their lighting on a patio, balcony, or other environments outside. The new lights include the Philips Hue Lily, which can be used to highlight key features in a garden, and the Philips Hue Calla, which can be placed in the ground and light pathways through outdoor spaces.