Some time back we were fortunate enough to attend a breakfast meeting with Jack Welch in Stamford Connecticut. At the time, the Palm 7 was all the rage to give you an idea of how far back we’re going in time.
Jack said two things which stood out in our minds.
- A Palm 7 uses as much energy as a refrigerator when you take into account the servers it accesses
- Chinese light bulb competition is brutal
On this second point, GE has turned to Apple’s playbook of vertical integration to get around the problem of commoditization of their market. Instead of fighting the no-name brands head-on, the company has gone upmarket and sells a $200 C by GE Sol Lamp which includes the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.
Yes, you can assemble something similar by buying an Echo Dot from Amazon and some Philips Hue lights but this misses the point of the elegant simplicity of the Sol which is a piece of art in and of itself.
This new lamp C by GE Sol is part of the GE Lighting portfolio and was designed by Richard Clarkson. It not only works with voice commands but also via an iOS and Android app.
Here are some other features of this lamp:
- Five Different White Lights: From crisp energizing light to help you stay alert in the office to soft, relaxing light to help you unwind in the family room, Sol has five white tunable light options for your control. Simply tell Alexa to make the light warmer or cooler to adjust the color temperature based on your mood and your need, all without changing a light bulb. Use one of the many prompts such as, “Alexa, make my Sol light cooler,” or “Alexa turn my Sol light to warm white.”
- Sleep-Enabled Light: Included in Sol’s light options are two white lights designed to help reinforce the body’s natural rhythm and melatonin production to prepare for sleep and awake more efficiently. A warm light is used to help increase melatonin before bed, while a cool, vibrant light helps produce energy in the morning. Adjust as you go, or schedule times within the C by GE app based on your sleep habits for extra convenience.
- Visual Timer: Now there is a visual cue to go along with setting a timer. In Sol, the inner ring lights up blue once you set a timer and gradually scales back as time counts down, giving you a quick reference point to how much time remains. Just say, “Alexa, set a timer for five minutes,” or the time of your choosing, to set the timer.
- Visual Clock: In addition to asking Sol what time it is, you can also see the time visually by enabling the clock function. Within the inner ring, you’ll see an LED illuminate blue where the hour hand would go in a traditional clock and illuminate red where the minute hand would be placed.
- C by GE Bulb Control: Want to bring connected lighting to other places in the home? GE’s C Life and C Sleep bulbs throughout the home can also be controlled by Sol – no additional hardware required.
Is the next step a slew of smart appliances from General Electric? Probably not as they sold off their appliance division but that is the natural direction for the company to proceed in if this product is a success.
Would you buy a $200 lamp made from GE? Let us know in the comments.
To learn more, be sure to attend the Enterprise IoT Event, IoT Evolution Jan 22-25, 2018 and see IBM, Ingenu, Cradlepoint, TellientARM, McAfee & other major companies. Special focus on Smart Cities, Security, IIoT and case studies.