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posted by Dopefish on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the now-that's-a-bright-idea dept.

Lagg writes:

"Philips put out a press release detailing their new retail lighting system, which is designed for the purpose of saving power by tracking subjects in a room, then increasing or decreasing light intensity as needed. Philips also advertises a secondary feature for providing location based sale adverts to the customer directly on their smartphone. This will require the user to install an app to actually receive the sale alerts, but it's unclear exactly how this tracking will be done otherwise.

Any home automation types in the comments have a theory as to how this will work on a technical level? My best guess is that there are infrared LEDs paired with the lighting fixtures themselves that can be picked up by phones with IR sensors in them. Further, what advantages does this sort of system have in terms of lighting efficiency that an electric eye setup wouldn't accomplish just as well?"

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  • (Score: 2) by combatserver on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:21AM

    by combatserver (38) on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:21AM (#3000)

    "It comes in handy for long vacations where I want to be able to control the lights and make it seem like someones randomly turning the light on."

    This is another example of a specific use of a technology that seems quite useful, yet for many there will be resistance/lack of acceptance because of the underlying motivations of those producing/marketing the product. After recent NSA revelations, many of us are seeing technology in a new (and more sinister) light--Can this be used to spy on us? Am I trading yet another piece of my privacy so I don't have to flick a light switch? Asking such simple questions--and coming up with the answer "yes"--for some, will be the deciding factor. They will simply refuse to buy the product. I am one of these people (as are most of my extended family, some more than others).

    Unfortunately, this really only holds true at the personal level, to any meaningful extent --we can say "no" to the technology only to find ourselves surrounded by it as a result of corporate or governmental decisions to use any particular technology in spite of public resistance.

    Are we forgetting who is doing the spending? Have we somehow given up the right to decide where we spend our money (and thus our time, for that is really all money is--an indicator of value for someone's time, and a means by which that time can be transferred to another)?

    Think before you spend--it can quite literally determine our future.

    (There is such a thing as a "randomizer"--looks like a regular mechanical-switch wall timer, but it alters the schedule randomly to do exactly what you describe--make it appear that someone is home. And yes, I just opened the one I had in my garage to verify it is indeed mechanical--it is (or was--damned sonic-welding))

    I hope I can change this later...
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