It’s hard to find a compelling use case for the Philips Hue. But Jim Rutherford and his son hacked the wireless LED lightbulbs to be in sync with the day/night cycle in Minecraft. It creates an immersive setup and is actually useful as creepers start appearing at nighttime.
In Minecraft, 24 hours go by in 10 minutes. It’s therefore fairly easy to program the Hue to progressively change color. But Rutherford had to find a clever implementation to sync time between the game and the light.
He developed an iPad app to adjust the position of the sun or the moon in the sky according to the game. You just have to pan your finger across the screen. Then, the app handles the interface to the lightbulb. You can see how it pans out at the end of the video.
At $199 for the Philips Hue starter pack, it sure is an expensive accessory. Only the existing Hue owners or hardcore Minecraft players should consider replicating this setup.
Rutherford said that he will release the app in the App Store so that everyone will be able to enjoy Minecraft’s virtual sunset. For now, you can have a look at the source code.