What If You Could Pair A Media Player Browser With Smart Lights?

November 22, 2016 by Dave Haynes


Via Engadget

Philips has marketed ambient halo lighting around some of  its TVs and displays for a few years how, with little LED lights in the back or around the edges doing things like picking up the dominant color on the screen and creating a halo around and behind.

Kinda cool, but I don’t think it’s been all that clear how that sort of thing might apply in an interesting and useful way to digital signage jobs. Plus it was only going to happen with Philips panels.

Now the Norwegian/Icelandic developer team that created the Opera web browser, and then built a new one called Vivaldi, has come up with a way for the browser to trigger/control smart lights, specifically the IoT ones made by Philips.

Vivaldi, says a press release, treads an adventurous route, going beyond the browser and into the smart home by integrating with Hue color lights from Philips. After enabling Hue in Vivaldi Theme Settings, a tap on the Philips Hue Bridge confirms the connection. Selecting which lights Vivaldi should control, the browser will synchronize your physical surroundings with the color of the web.

With this light bulb moment, Vivaldi opens the door for new opportunities for seamless integration between the browser and physical space.

“This is just a first step for us but imagine a world where you get notified for a new email or web notification through a light bulb,” explains CEO Jon von Tetzchner in the press release. “Vivaldi is all about customisation and flexibility. Integrating with IoT devices like Philips Hue makes it possible for Vivaldi to adapt to you and your everyday life.”

It’s that whole notification thing that’s intriguing, in the context of browsers increasing being used as the software media player on signage jobs, as opposed to purpose-built native players. Vivaldi is definitely a fringe browser when compared to Chrome, but the team behind it has 20 years of experience on browsers – just limited marketing muscle.

So … if the browser in kiosk/full screen mode could trigger colors in smart lights based on the content, that could mean things like meeting room signs that, instead of having small halo lights around them,  could instead have smart lights overhead show or flash green (available) or red (booked) based on what the browser says.

Think queue management, wayfinding and probably a bunch of other things.

I am not sufficiently technical to say whether Vivaldi would work well as a signage player, but I’d imagine so. It has full screen mode and supports many Chrome extensions.

There are some very sophisticated, deep platforms like Omnivex that can already support lighting controls easily, but this sort of thing might make it possible and relatively easy for much lighter, web-based display jobs to work with lighting, as well.


  1. Marc Benson says:

    Great post as always Dave, this type of integration is already possible with Signagelive and the Actions feature. Setting an action against a media asset for example allows you to make web calls (API calls in this case) to solutions like Hue and others when a media asset is played on Samsung SSSP, LG webOS and ChromeOS players (and of course any media player we add support for in the future using our portable HTML5 Playback Engine). Combine that with the Signagelive Web Triggers API which allows anything that can make an API call (for example presence detection solutions, interactive retail/assisted point of sales solutions or emergency messaging solutions) to trigger a change to your signage and you have a very compelling contextual solution that can not only affect the content on your screen but the environment in which it is located.

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