It was almost exactly ten years ago that Philips Hue was officially launched. On 30 October 2012, Signify, then still operating under the name Philips Lighting, introduced the first starter set consisting of three E27 light bulbs and bridge as well as an accompanying iPhone app. As a real premium product, sales started exclusively in the Apple Store at that time.
Ten years later, Philips Hue is the undisputed market leader when it comes to smart lighting. In the meantime, the product portfolio of the Dutch manufacturer comprises far more than 200 products. From illuminants and ceiling lights to accessories and garden lighting, there is basically everything your heart desires.
“We set out with a simple mission to change people’s relationship with lighting in their homes, to make them realise it has so much more potential than being on or off, and we achieve that goal everyday as we convert more and more households to the joy of smart lighting”, says George Yianni, the inventor of Philips Hue. “I’m especially proud how we’ve kept upgrading the ecosystem through software updates and continue to support and improve the original products we sold 10 years ago.”
Philips Hue: how it all started back then
In fact, the Philips Hue product came about by accident. George Yianni was working in the Philips Lightning development department at the time, designing remote controls for Philips LivingColors lamps. Exactly at the time when the iPhone started to conquer the world.
Instead of designing and building physical prototypes with new concepts for remote controls, they simply tried out the user interface on the touchscreen of an iPhone. This way, minor adjustments could be made without building new hardware each time. “And that was actually the trigger. We found that we had created a better way to control the lighting,” George Yianni recalls.
Here’s how the Hue inventor describes what happened next: “I made a rough prototype of the first app-controlled lighting system. And it was really rough – we had computers in suitcases with loose circuit boards lying around! We showed our prototype to the management at a company innovation day.” The rest? A success story that will hopefully continue for a long time.