You know what I was thinking the other day? “Gee, I wish there was some way I could combine the endless joy of light bulbs with my deep-seated interest in alarm clocks.”
A moment of honesty: I was joking about that last sentence. But Hong Kong based engineering team Avantconcept are dead serious about their AirBulb which – I kid you not – combines a standard LED light bulb with a speaker.
That’s right boys and girls, it’s a lightbulb with a speaker in it.
Jokes aside, the AirBulb is an interesting concept which joins two ubiquitous technologies with the help of modern, bluetooth enabled smartphones and tablets. The bulb itself is ridiculously easy to set up, requiring nothing but a E26 or E27 Edison screw lamp socket for its power. From there, users simply download the AirBulb app for iOS and Android, sync the app with the bulb via bluetooth voilà – welcome to the future.
As well as transmitting basic commands such as bulb brightness, light tone and music volume, the AirBulb app enables users to sync alarms, incoming calls and social media alerts to the AirBulb which will flash accordingly. Imagine trying to snooze with your bedroom lights flashing like crazy – you’d never be late for work again!
Now for the nitty-gritty technical part: The AirBulb contains six LEDs which draw 10 watts and give the same light output as a 65 watt incandescent bulb. The speaker contains a 3 watt Class D amplifier and, if coupled with another AirBulb, can function in stereo. Finally, the AirBulb supports wireless communication over Bluetooth A2DP, AVRCP and Bluetooth 4.0.
Avantconcept are hoping to mass produce the AirBulb and are looking for additional funding via Kickstarter to make their light bulb dreams come true. As of writing this article, they’re a third of the way to their $10,000 funding goal, but will they reach it? I’m not so sure.
It’s a novel idea, however I fear the AirBulb will be considered just that: a novelty. With the price of good quality LED lights getting ever cheaper, I can’t see regular consumers rushing out to buy a combination of technologies they most definitely already have. The AirBulb may find a home in the likes of cafes, restaurants and hotel lobbies, but only once Avantconcept overcome the AirBulb app’s two bulb control limit.
But hey, like AirBulb’s tagline states, “where there is light, there is music”… apparently.