Microsoft reminds UWP app developers about Phillips Hue lights

Brad Stephenson

Huetro for Hue Universal Windows app for Phillips Hue Lights

The Windows Apps Team recently developed an app in the Universal Windows Platform format to demo to developers the possibilities of controlling Phillips Hue lights with a Windows 10 device.

The complete source for the app is available for developers to download and edit for use in their own projects and overall it’s a great reminder of a product that can be implemented in a variety of situations from simple mood setting in a loving room to a special promotional event.

The app takes full advantage of Windows 10 features such as Cortana and Bluetooth LE and a video was created to show the implementation in action (see the embedded video on this page).

“Cortana provides a way for users to naturally interact with their PCs and phones,” Joshua Partlow, Alexander Koren, and Lauren Hughes from the Windows Developer Docs team say on the use of Cortana. “They accomplish key tasks such as launching apps, searching the web, and getting a joke of the day. Yet that’s only part of the story. The true value of Cortana is seen when you extend the basic functionality to integrate with your UWP apps. By adding Cortana support to an app, you can create really cool experiences for your users – such as turning on Hue lights or changing their color just with voice.”

Bluetooth LE was also praised for its functionality and practicality. “Manipulating the lights with UI controls is a vast improvement over physical switches,” they say on its benefits. “But we also want to explore ways to control the lights using proximity – when the user comes within reasonable range of the lights with their phone, the lights should automatically turn on. When they leave, the lights turn off. To achieve this effect, we decided to use Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) because it’s power-friendly and can easily run in the background.”

Do you use apps to control lighting? Which kind of setup do you recommend to others?