When Hue's sister brand Wiz unveiled its Wiz Indoor Camera earlier this year we wondered whether that was "a sign that Hue is working on something bigger", and last month Philips said that yes, it was: it was making smart home cameras designed to bamboozle burglars by integrating smart cameras with smart lights.
And now we've got an idea of what those cameras will look like because Philips has included some images in its filings with the regulatory body the FCC.
They're not the most exciting shots, we know. But they suggest that a launch is imminent, and we're hoping to see the actual products revealed at IFA 2023. That trade show begins at the end of next week, although the shipping date is likely to be some weeks beyond that.
What do we know about Philips Hue smart home security cameras?
These images were unearthed by the German site Hueblog.de in FCC filings, and now at least two models have been granted regulatory approval. Rumors suggest that there may be four cameras in the range in both black and white finishes.
The documents and images describe cylindrical cameras with and without batteries, and a warning sticker says there are strong magnets on board, presumably for mounting the camera to surfaces or to some kind of cradle. Diagrams also show support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Zigbee standards. The Hue Bridge uses Zigbee, so it seems likely that the cameras will connect in much the same way that Hue bulbs do. Recent Hue bulbs can also connect via Bluetooth, although they reserve most of their best features when they're connected via Zigbee to a bridge.
As far as pricing and availability go, all we have so far are rumors: the wired version is expected to retail for around $200 / £150 and the battery-powered version is likely to be around $50 / £30 more expensive. That sounds right to me: Hue products are usually a lot more expensive than similar but more basic products from Hue's sister brand, Wiz, such as the Wiz Indoor Camera which is $69.99 / £79.99.
While it might not seem like a natural synergy, the ability to program lights and security devices in tandem is a pretty major boon for any smart home, whether it's detecting your movements around the home and effortlessly controlling lights to match your movements or deterring potential bad actors.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.