Internet-connected devices are clearly the future of controlling everything from your home to your car, but actually getting "the Internet of things" rolling has been slow going. Now a new project looks to brighten those prospects, quite literally, with a smart light socket.
Created by Zach Supalla (who was inspired by his father, who is deaf and uses lights for notifications), the Spark Socket lets you to connect the light sockets in your home to the Internet, allowing them to be controlled via PC, smartphone and tablet (iOS and Android are both supported) through a Wi-Fi connection. What makes this device so compelling is its simplicity. By simply screwing a normal light bulb into the Spark Socket, connected to a standard light fixture, you can quickly begin controlling and programming the lights in your home.
Some of the uses for the Spark Socket include allowing you to have your house lights flash when you receive a text or email, programming lights to turn on with certain alarms, and having lights dim during certain times of the day. A very cool demonstration of how the device works can be tested by simply visiting this live Ustream page and tweeting #hellospark. We tested it and the light flashed on instantly as soon as we tweeted the hashtag.
The device is currently on Kickstarter, inching closer toward its $250,000 goal, and if successful will retail for $60 per unit. You can watch Supalla offer a more detailed description of the product and how it came to be in the video below.