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Philips Hue and Spotify team up puts the ‘rhythm’ in ‘algorithmic light show’

Signify, the company behind Philips Hue, has announced a new integration with Spotify, which will see the smart lights adjust colour and intensity based on the music that you’re playing.

The partnership has yielded a “deep integration of lighting and music” that effectively sees your smart lighting system react to your music.

Philips Hue + Spotify, to give the product of this team-up its official name, uses a new algorithm to analyse the metadata of a Spotify song in real time. It then uses that data to make whatever Philips Hue lights you have at your disposal flash and change colour in keeping with the tone of the song.

The company seems to be at great pains to stress that this isn’t merely a beat-driven flashing effect, but rather a fully-fledged “light script” that also reflects a track’s “mood, genre, tempo, segments, loudness, pitch and more”.

The integration does this algorithmically, which means you don’t need to use your smartphone’s microphone to listen to music, so background noise or the position of your phone won’t impact on the quality of the light show.

Despite all this automated audiovisual magic, Signify is also enabling you to personalise the process through the new Sync tab in the free Philips Hue app. Here you can start and stop the sync, change the brightness and intensity of the lights, and play with the colour palette.

Anyone with a Hue Bridge (the Spotify integration will not work with Hue lights connected via Bluetooth), some colour-capable Philips Hue lights, and a Spotify-compatible audio device will be able to take advantage of this new feature once they’ve linked their Philips Hue and Spotify accounts in the Philips Hue app.

You could even kick off an autumnal garden party using the Philips Hue outdoor lights, which we wholeheartedly recommend.

Philips Hue + Spotify is rolling out as an early access program to Philips Hue App 4 users from today, though Signify warns that it can take up to 7 days to manifest in your account. The integration will otherwise be a permanent fixture as of October.

A smart upgrade for Spotify users but there are some questions

Integrating directly with Spotify eliminates the need to use a microphone, which should produce a better lighting effect more efficiently. Working directly with Spotify will work for most people that cast their music from their phone to a compatible speaker, but it’ll be interesting to see if/how the system works with the likes of Sonos that uses its own app to control music playback. I’ll bring you more as the technology rolls out.

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