Get going! Your cab is here...
The humble light bulb is growing a bit of a brain. It's smartening up to join the Internet of things and beginning to do so much more than just sit there being switched on or off.
While smart bulbs are not exactly cheap, specially since you need to buy a bunch of them together to really make a difference, an Indian startup called Cube26, now rebranded Reos, has one for Rs.1,699, a relatively affordable price. A handful of these could make your home's lighting so much more interesting.
The Reos Lite is a big bulb for which you may need an adaptor holder. Once you mount it wherever you plan to use it, go ahead and download the Reos Lite app on the Play Store or App Store. Turn on Bluetooth on your phone and pair with the bulb. Open the app, and let it search for available lights. Click the checkbox to select the light. Now your smartphone and smart light can talk to each other.
With this connection in place, you can use the phone to control the bulb in many ways. You can, predictably, change the colour, picking a shade from a full colour palette. A bunch of presets will play light sequences for you, such as moving through a whole range of colours, pulsing, fading in and out, flickering like candlelight, strobing for a party, shifting colours with the music, or just staying in a soft white light perfect for reading. You can make your own presets as well.
If you have little patience with coloured lights, you can use a formula to get your bulb to tell you something, such as flash when your cab has arrived, or go blue if the weather is cold. These alerts depend on partner services, so you're a little limited to a few, but they're still interesting to set up: get an alert of your choice when your Dominos pizza arrives, when your order from Swiggy, BigBasket or Grofers is here, and even when you get a Facebook notification. Even better, you can set the bulb to change colour to alert you if you get an SMS, WhatsApp message, or call from someone specific. You can also schedule the light to turn on at a specific time, even if you're not home. On top of that, the whole assembly begins to learn your habits and just say, lights up every evening at seven, if that's what you usually do.
The companion app does however have its annoyances. Every time you come back to it after a few hours' gap, it seems to ask you to select your light all over again and re-choose the colour and intensity settings. Despite a few slight niggles, the Reos Lite is a great inexpensive way to get your first taste of the connectedness of everyday objects.