LG innovates Smart Bulb to aid deaf smartphone users

The light bulb will blink when a user gets a call and can keep a home secure

LG has developed a Smart Bulb, designed to help those with hearing problems when using an iPhone or Android device.

The light bulb flashes, or blinks, when a call is received, allowing the user to answer the call if they wish to. The Korean manufacturer has integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi into the bulb, allowing it to connect to a smartphone using either method.

There is currently no other product like this on the market

LG says the Smart Bulb is made of LED lights, giving it a long life of around 10 years. Not only that, it uses 80 per cent less power than incandescent bulbs.

In addition to alerting a user when a call is coming in, the Smart Bulb can also be used as an alarm clock with the lights building in strength in the morning to allow the user to wake up naturally, rather than emitting a loud noise.

Guest editor's thoughts

As someone who's house is 95 per cent lit with LED bulbs, I love this idea. Being able to easily integrate and control the lighting without investing in a multitude of additional control gear is a big step forward. The trick will be in persuading people that the extra upfront cost is worth it, but if energy prices keep going up then I guess this will become easier and hopefully that will help reduce the purchase costs.                                           Liam Quinn, IT director, Richmond Events

For those who listen to music on their Android device, the lights will increase in intensity to match the level of the music if the Smart Bulb is set to 'party mode'.

LG's Smart Bulbs will launch in South Korea for 35,000 won (19) and can be controlled whether you're in the home or remotely.

Kevin Taylor, a product specialist for Action on Hearing Loss said,"There is currently no other product like this on the market and if the Smart Bulb's features can extend to responding to text messages, email alerts and perhaps even the doorbell it could prove a revolutionary tool in the daily lives of people who are deaf or hard of hearing."

In 2012, Philips launched the Hue - a home lighting system that allows iPhone users to control it from their device. The Philips Hue isn't marketed specifically at those with hearing problems, but covers many of the features of the LG Smart Bulb.

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