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Philips’ new Hue app will sync your lights with whatever’s playing on your computer

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A redesigned mobile app and Hue’s first outdoor lighting products are coming, too

Hot on the heels of its integration with Razer’s Chroma lighting system, Philips has announced a way to sync its smart lights with not just games, but anything and everything that shows up on your computer.

It’ll all work through an upcoming app, called Hue Sync, which will be released for Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra. Hue Sync watches what’s on your screen and automatically changes your lights to match. This is mostly meant for when you’re watching a movie or gaming, but you could even just be browsing a webpage and have the lights change as you scroll. It can also sync up with playing music, and you have the option to dial in exactly how intense all these effects are.

In practice, I feel like this could get very annoying, but it’s a neat idea that has the potential to make some immersive experiences feel almost like surround sound for visuals. That said, Hue Sync seems a bit like a first step, or a bridge toward something that’s ultimately better: custom lighting experiences for every game, movie, and song. But that’s a long way off, if it ever happens. Hue Sync is essentially Philips’ pitch for why studios should hop on board to help it get there by demonstrating some of the potential.

In addition to Hue Sync, Philips also announced work on a third generation of the mobile Hue app. The updated app looks much nicer, with a much more modern style that uses floating design elements that would look right at home in a Google app. Philips is also updating the navigation to make it easier to get to scenes and controls right when you open it. You can get a sense of the new app’s style in the image above.

Both Hue Sync and the updated Hue app are supposed to come out in the second quarter of the year.

Then, over the summer, Philips says it plans to release its first line of outdoor lights and light fixtures. The company wouldn’t say exactly what it’ll be releasing, but the products are supposed to include both decorative and security-oriented lights. And yes, there will be colors.