Sony launches a cool consumer product and slaps a numbing name on a product that deserves better. So far it is only available in Japan and if it survives being called the Multifunctional Light, this ceiling gadget could soon be called a smart home hub in a light.
And a ceiling-mount is, of course, a perfect spot for a hub as well as light.
It can detect when someone's in a room-- and even switch on other devices in the room. Stream music on it from a phone (or from a memory card in its built-in slot) or even record messages to be played back when it detects someone enters the house. It can also let homeowners communicate with anyone in the house. The presence sensor can also be used for security –sending out an automatic message when it spots movement while you’re out of house.
For sensors, it has motion, luminance, temperature, and humidity.
- It has an infrared controller for remote control of TVs and airco units..
- It can connect to any other wi-fi connected device or appliance..
- It has a speaker, a microphone, and a microSD card slot..
- It can change its color, depending on the mood you select..
All of the apps are controlled via smartphone—you can schedule actions with your departure or arrival.
Sony chose to launch the product not at CES, but at a commercial lighting exhibition in Tokyo. The Multifunctional Light joins a wave of internet-connected lighting products designed for the IoT—but this one targets builders, property developers and electrical/building wholesalers
The device comes in two pieces: a luminaire-shaped LED ceiling light (clear or frosted versions) that holds in its middle a wi-fi communication unit (which handles the control via smartphone app). The unit includes sensors for motion, light, temperature and humidity, plus a speaker, a microphone and infrared capability for remote control of TVs and air conditioning units.
The LED light, developed for Sony by Toshiba, is dimmable and tuneable in colour from 2700K to 6500K, with a respectable average colour rendering index of 85.
The lighting unit is 660mm in diameter, giving it roughly the same surface area as a standard 600x600mm ceiling panel. It uses 42W or 53W of power (clear or frosted diffuser), which is a little more than a typical 4,000lm LED panel, and is designed to light an area of about 13m2. The “multifunction unit” that sits in the middle uses a further 3W of power.
Sony has made up for its lack of enthusiasm in naming this product by making a cool video.