And why you should build apps on the Hue platform.
Philips Hue’s RGB lights have become omnipresent. You can find them in any big name store, they come in bundles with popular voice assistants, and you can see color lights everywhere on Twitch.
With the current RGB craze in gaming, it would be natural to wonder:
Why can’t Philips Hue lights sync with the action in major gaming titles?
It would seem to be a win-win feature. Game developers get a really cool feature and Philips Hue gets even more integrated into your lifestyle!
Philips Hue actually made an special entertainment API with gaming in mind, so game developers would add amazing features that couldn’t be built with the old API.
So why aren’t game developers using it?
Having worked at several gaming companies as a software engineer, I know that one of the main issues is time. Large gaming projects are often behind schedule, so any feature that isn’t vital gets cut.
Plus, large gaming companies need their engineering teams focused on either running their current games or building the next ones. So, no time for non-critical features. They’re also unlikely to allow engineers at Philips Hue to build support for them. Doing so would require giving them access to the game’s code, their most cherished secret! In short, big companies cannot do small things.
To summarize, we have an audience of RGB gamers, who would like to sync their lights with their games, yet no one seems to be able to deliver that feature. In other words, an untapped market with a natural moat against large players.
BUT, as you can imagine, Epic Games and Riot Games won’t let you hack Fortnite or Valorant directly.
I know people in the gaming industry. When I asked, the most support I got for adding lighting to people’s games was “if we build a modding engine, you’ll be the first to know”.
In case you’re wondering what a basic Fortnite + Philips Hue + Overwolf looks like, here’s a sample. It will make your lights blink to simulate an explosion on kill/death and will change their brightness depending on the game phase (lobby/gameplay).
At this point, the only missing piece of the puzzle is a good discovery mechanism, meaning a way for people to find and download your app. Running ads is simply not profitable (at least, not for the business models I’ve come up with).
This is where Philips Hue will certainly help. The iOS/Android ecosystem of Hue apps is absolutely amazing, thanks to the “Apps we like” section of the official Philips Hue app. And I have no doubt that something similar will be coming to PC/Mac soon.
The remaining question is: Can you create a viable business model? If you do something cool and innovative, you’ll have 2 solid companies here to help you: Philips Hue and Overwolf.
Integrating games with Smart Home features is so cutting edge that most people don’t understand the concept. This is likely the ground floor of a whole new software category and we’re at a point where having competition will actually make the market grow. And that’s why I’m willing to publish a guide on how to do what I do.
If you can make software and you’ve been looking for a way to start something on your own, now is your chance! So why not get started?
It can be a great way to differentiate your channel’s look, create a very unique identity to attract viewers who are browsing, and give your stream its own aesthetic.
So you got the “Ferrari” of color lights, the Philips Hue, your futuristic RGB battle-station, and maybe even the super-fun Razer Kraken Kitty. You’ve picked colors that match the vibe of your stream and look great in your live studio.
What else can you do with lights?
Engage your audience? Give unique perks to your subscribers?
Those were the questions in my mind when I created Lighter’s features for streamers: – light emotes in response to Cheers, depending on the amount of Bits donated – chat commands for your audience to trigger light emotes. You get to define the commands. You have the option to limit the feature to subscribers to create a great perk for your channel!
Here’s a quick guide to get you up and running in less than five minutes: