It is now more than ten years since George Yianni had an idea that inspires us every day. Back then, at Philips Lighting, which now goes by the name Signify, he developed a web application to control Living Colors lamps. What was supposed to be a simple solution to avoid having to spend weeks building prototypes of real remote controls ended up being a whole new product.
“We were already afraid that we were launching a niche product on the market,” the Hue inventor reports in a podcast that lasts around 30 minutes. “After all, we wanted to sell a lamp for 50 dollars, while a normal lamp only cost 2 dollars.” When the first testers didn’t want to return their prototypes and Apple was keen to sell the first starter sets in its stores, it quickly became clear that this was going to be something bigger. “At the latest when we sold out within a few days after the launch, we realised that it wasn’t just a small niche.”
And after about 10 years, it has to be said: Philips Hue is not just a few colourful lamps. In the meantime, it has become an entire ecosystem that has been developed further and further since its launch. “Light is more than just on and off,” says George Yianni.
In the last third of the podcast, the Hue inventor also provides some private insights. Would you have thought, for example, that his homemade Beef Wellington apparently tastes great? Or that he and his wife built their own Settlers of Catan set as a wedding present for his sister? If you also want to know what George Yianni’s favourite films are and which smart home gadget he has owned the longest, then you should definitely listen to the podcast.