Philips Hue shuts off third-party bulb support with DRM

Digital rights management comes to home appliances as Phillips announced it won’t support third-party bulbs for Phillips Hue. The smart home lighting system will eventually have more options for bulbs, but anyone looking to go off the proprietary path may encounter obstacles.

Phillips announced its latest update as fixing an “interoperability issue,” citing that certain third-party light bulbs would not operate properly with their Hue system, either not turning off successfully or properly working with the Hue’s “scene” present functionality.

Up until now, owners of Phillips’ light framework could use (typically cheaper) bulbs from other brands such as Cree or GE that were compatible with the system. However, as Hue updates its platform, several of these bulbs were unable to keep up and showed performance bugs.

Rather than working out issues with each individual product, Phillips is putting Friends Of Hue in effect, a program in which brands can undergo testing to meet Hue’s standards. Products that make it into the Friends Of Hue will be able to work after the update is applied, making them the only current alternative to Phillips’ proprietary light bulbs.

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