Update: We’re hearing the date for the new HomeKit bridge is October 6th … In addition, Philips has officially confirmed that the old box will not be getting HomeKit compatibility in any form. However, it will continue to receive other software updates. You can buy the new HomeKit bridge from here.
Philips is finally ready to join the HomeKit ecosystem with a new box that will act as a bridge between the Apple HomeKit standard and its range of smart internet-connected lightbulbs. As shown in the images above, provided by sources, the new box looks very much like an Apple TV — a rounded rectangle ‘puck’ with indicator lights showing connectivity status.
The new HomeKit box will be available in October and connect existing Philips Hue accessories to the Apple platform. The bridge box will be sold standalone as an official ‘Works with Apple HomeKit’ compatible accessory as well as in new combo sets, also depicted above. These sets include new bulbs with a few improvements over the current models …
The new lights, of type E27 and GU10, will have an improved color spectrum over current bulbs meaning they can more accurately depict a wide range of hues. In particular, the green and turquoise color reproduction will “look much better”. The new lights are also brighter, maxing out at 800 lumens compared to the current range that tops out at 750 lumens with the Hue Lux.
The new lights will be sold in combo sets with the HomeKit bridge. The official names of the refreshed products are the Philips Hue White Starter Kit, the Hue Bridge and the Philips Hue White and Color Ambience (in either E27 or GU10 variants). Pricing will be comparable to the equivalent Hue accessories currently available.
We are also told that Philips is working on ways to bring HomeKit support to existing Philips Hue bridges. This means current Hue customers would not have to buy any additional equipment to work with HomeKit, but this may not be ready as soon as October. If this software update is released, the new box would differ mostly on its cosmetics. A rough picture of the product surfaced earlier in the month.
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