Meet the Sengled Voice, a forthcoming smart lightbulb on display at CES 2016 that can do all sorts of nifty things.
It’s a lightbulb that’s also a Bluetooth wireless speaker. It can also search the web, read your calendar for appointments, and text or alert you if it detects noises like a smoke alarm or a baby crying.
Oh, and of course, it will also light a dark room.
It’s more than a little bit like the Amazon Echo smart home hub, an omnipresent virtual assistant. But as small as the Echo is, it can still take up some valuable floor or shelf space.
Meanwhile, the Sengled Voice just slots right in to an existing lightbulb socket and lives there.
It doesn’t have the backing of a big tech company, like Alphabet’s Nest or Apple HomeKit. Thanks to partnerships with Nuance (the company behind the popular Dragon NaturallySpeaking dictation software) and Audio Analytics, though, Sengled says the Voice has the high-powered smarts it needs to understand your voice commands.
The Sengled Voice was behind glass at CES, so I couldn’t really get a good grasp of how well the voice commands work. And it uses Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth, for setup and controlling the bulb (when you’re not speaking to it, that is).
Sengled has been around for a little while, selling WiFi-connected bulbs that also act as wireless Internet repeaters or speakers. As someone that doesn’t have unlimited storage space, the concept is definitely appealing.