Philips Hue reverses course, will continue to work with third-party bulbs

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Philips Hue DRM Update Blocks Third-Party Light Bulbs.

On the heels of yesterday’s news that Hue was set to begin blocking uncertified third-party bulbs from the Hue ecosystem due to “interoperability” issues, the company has now rapidly reversed course as a result of customer feedback.Shortly after pushing out a firmware update that made its line of Hue lightbulbs incompatible with third-party smart products, Philips has realized it might have made the wrong decision.

Philips has revised the notice on its developer blog, noting that while the decision was “made in good faith” to ensure an optimal customer experience, the company underestimated the impact that it would have on customers, and that in view of this it has decided to reverse the software upgrade so that lights from other brands will “continue to work as they did before” with the Hue system. Philips is still encouraging third-party accessory makers to join the Friends of Hue partnership program so that their devices can be tested and certified to work seamlessly with Hue, and notes that customers using uncertified lights will likely still experience the same incompatibility issues that they have in the past, although Philips will no longer stand in the way of customers using other ZigBee LL capable accessories.

In a statement issued to MobileSyrup, Philips continues to warn that compatibility issues will be present when using third-party products with Hue devices. While Philips has essentially admitted it is not Apple and does not have the brand recognition or market power to adopt a walled-garden approach to its smart home products, the company seems intent on reminding customers why it released the initial firmware update in the first place. Examples include Twitter restricting its API uses, Google becoming less open with Android, keeping Google Mobile Services proprietary, Facebook shutting down its friends’ data API, Spotify removing third-party apps from the desktop player, etc.

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