Philips Hue might be best known for its smart bulbs, light strips, and table lamps, but you'll soon see security cameras added to that list, according to the brand's owner Signify.
As spotted by Hueblog and 9to5Mac, Signify CEO Eric Rondolat said in a recent earnings call that Philips Hue will soon combine its traditional smart lights with new home cameras, which could work together in interesting ways to keep your home safe.
Referring to the new cameras, which don't yet have a release date, Rondolat said that "the idea here is also to use security for lighting and lighting for security”. After providing the example of a burglar triggering an alarm that makes your lights flash red, he added: "Why is that interesting? Because sound alarms cannot be heard from a distance as they are really kept inside the house. But, the light can be seen from a long distance.”
It's already possible to achieve a similar effect with accessories like the Philips Hue motion sensor, but Signify clearly thinks it can go a step further with its future security cameras. Rondolat was also keen to stress privacy features, stating that "our cameras will be the first with end-to-end encryption".
This again isn't strictly a new feature, as many Ring cameras added the option of end-to-end encryption last year and others also support features like Apple HomeKit Secure Video. But it certainly sounds like the Philips Hue cameras will be fully featured out of the box, even if it isn't yet clear which smart home platforms they'll support.
Analysis: A bright idea?
Signify, which formed in 2016 after Philips' lighting division was spun off into a separate company, hasn't given us a timeline of when to expect its Hue-branded security cameras. But given the timing of the announcement, a reveal at the IFA 2023 show (which starts on September 1) is possible.
It's an interesting move, given Signify also owns another smart lighting brand called WiZ that already makes a security camera. Our WiZ Indoor camera review found that, while its build quality is a little cheap, its "options for local storage and non-paywalled features give it a huge advantage over similar cameras with ongoing costs".
Given that Signify recently started charging $130 (around £115 / AU$200) for the Philips Hue Sync TV app that lets your smart lights synchronize with your movies, it won't necessarily take the same approach for its Hue-branded security cameras.
Hue products also tend to be pricier, while offering more features, than their WiZ equivalents (for more on that, check out our Philips Hue vs WiZ explainer). But Signify did also recently bring a big free update to Philips Hue lights to help you fine-tune your setup, so there's a chance its new cameras will avoid pricey cloud subscriptions.
Let's just hope it all works out a bit better than the slightly disastrous Philips Lightguide series of smart bulbs, which had to sadly be discontinued less than a year after launching due to quality issues.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.