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posted by cmn32480 on Tuesday December 15 2015, @11:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the like-deja-vu-all-over-again dept.

Purchasers of the Philips Hue "smart" ambient lighting system are finding out that the new firmware pushed out by the manufacturer has cut off access to previously-supported lightbulbs.

Philips uses ZigBee, which should mean any bulbs compatible with this standard will work with its Hue products. Not anymore. The firmware update removes this support, limiting this "open, global" standard to Philips' own bulbs and those it has designated as "Friends of Hue."

When owners complained that they had been given the old bait-and-switch on products they already paid for, Philips issued this statement:

While the Philips Hue system is based on open technologies we are not able to ensure all products from other brands are tested and fully interoperable with all of our software updates. For guaranteed compatibility you need to use Philips Hue or certified Friends of Hue products.

The Philips Hue is a premium-priced LED lighting system, but the rapid pace of LED efficiency gains has started to leave them behind. Cheaper competitors have started to significantly undercut Hue's pricing. Maybe this lockout is more about pricing protection than it is about quality protection


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by unzombied on Tuesday December 15 2015, @11:20PM

    by unzombied (4572) on Tuesday December 15 2015, @11:20PM (#276874)

    Maybe this lockout is more about pricing protection than it is about quality protection

    Maybe. How'd that work out for the coffee pod manufacturer?

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 16 2015, @12:36AM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 16 2015, @12:36AM (#276906) Journal

    Maybe. How'd that work out for the coffee pod manufacturer?
     
    Incredibly well, unfortunately.
     
    $13.9 billion dollars worth of well, to be exact.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by unzombied on Wednesday December 16 2015, @02:03AM

      by unzombied (4572) on Wednesday December 16 2015, @02:03AM (#276933)

      Incredibly well indeed! At least for a while. This article [fool.com] suggests they're not doing so good now.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by davester666 on Wednesday December 16 2015, @06:45AM

        by davester666 (155) on Wednesday December 16 2015, @06:45AM (#276995)

        The company is in the middle of being acquired for $14 billion...even though they aren't "doing so good now"

        • (Score: 1) by unzombied on Wednesday December 16 2015, @07:35AM

          by unzombied (4572) on Wednesday December 16 2015, @07:35AM (#277012)
          So DRMing lightbulbs is a profitable move, if coffee pods are a fair comparison.
          • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Wednesday December 16 2015, @07:41AM

            by davester666 (155) on Wednesday December 16 2015, @07:41AM (#277015)

            Certainly. There are a LOT of stupid people out there.

  • (Score: 1) by Francis on Wednesday December 16 2015, @07:34AM

    by Francis (5544) on Wednesday December 16 2015, @07:34AM (#277011)

    I went ninja over keurig in large part due to the former allowing me to use any coffee I want to. Those kcups are ridiculously expensive.