Google, Lighting Science partner on Android-powered LED bulb

Google and Lighting Science Group revealed that they are developing an LED light bulb that can be controlled from an Android-powered smartphone.

Internet giant Google and LED manufacturer Lighting Science Group on Tuesday revealed that they have partnered to develop an LED light bulb that can be controlled from an Android-powered smartphone.

The Florida-based lighting firm calls it "intelligent LED lighting," and announced it with Google during the company's keynote presentation at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco.

The first product, a 60-watt equivalent bulb, is a combination of Lighting Science's knowledge of light geometry and Google's connected software know-how.

An Internet-connected LED bulb? Yes, and here's why: with a little help from your home's Wi-Fi network, you can dim or turn off lights remotely -- or to program them to do so.

Better still, the LED bulbs can leverage your smartphone's GPS and proximity sensors, turning on lights when you walk into a room with the phone in your pocket.

Google has always occupied the home area network space, but this is the first time it has addressed a specific appliance in the home. (If you're an avid reader of SmartPlanet, you'll know that the "Internet of Things" -- from cars to water heaters to toasters to yes, light bulbs -- is just around the corner.)

It's not just a consumer play, but a commercial one, too. Networked lighting companies such as Adura, Lumenergi, Redwood Systems and others -- Google rival Microsoft's focus on commercial building management comes to mind -- deal primarily with office buildings and datacenters; this announcement hints at similar applications.

The companies say the product will arrive in retail stores this fall.

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