All posts tagged as phillips hue


iQ Prototype

We have successfully managed to communicate to the Phillips Hue lightbulb with the Mindwave headset. By using nothing but our brain waves we can turn our lights on or off. Once the user’s attention reaches a certain value, the light will turn on and stay on. To turn the light bulb off, simply do the same by meditating.

Although this may seem simple, the ability to use our very own brainwaves to manipulate the light is a major breakthrough towards our final goals with the project. As of today we will only be demonstrating the proprietary eSense meters. We will be streaming our attention and meditation values directly controlling the hue api using Cylon.js. In the future, we will be expanding our research to control the Hue and Luminosity of the bulb, visually representing our mental state in vibrant color.

  But How?

When we first started we ran into a problem with the operating system. Windows was incompatible with the software so we switched over to Ubuntu Linux.Cylon is a JavaScript framework for robotics and physical computing. It runs inside of Node.js which is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for easily building fast apps. The headset transfers values to our Linux laptop via Bluetooth into Cylon.js to the Phillips bridge via WiFi router to the hue bulb.

Future plans include changing the colour of the light based on brain waves and making it all work on a raspberry pi.


iQue Plans


Activate and deactivate a lighting system using Brain Waves.


Brain Waves are monitored by an EEG Sensor, connected to an Amplifier, and then processed in as data connected to a computer. An EEG sensor works by connecting electrodes to the surface of the skull. The sensors pick up the brain waves by being connected to the scalp. The sensors pick up the small waves and then the Amplifier increases them enough to be read as data. The data picked up the sensors are read as Alpha, Beta, Theta, and Delta. Each brain wave is attributed to a different state of mind.

Plan I:

We would approach this task by using surface electrodes connected to an amplifier, which is then connected to a microcontroller designed for translating these signals into raw data. By hooking up all this hardware to an Arduino, we would be able to control the amplifier and the microcontroller using Arduino software. Also, by using the Arduino we would have the ability to connect to the bluetooth adapter, which is what will allow us to relay the data into the lighting system.

The Philips Hue lighting system has several ways to interact and control the device. The way that we would manipulate the system is by using the Bridge. The bridge is designed so that the system can be accessed through the internet (URL) and then sending values through the URL.Phillips starter packThe reason behind choosing the Hue is how the entire project is able to come together. The Hue bulb can connect to the bridge which connects to your router. This is what allows user input to affect the light. The Arduino software can run script that allows you to control the lights through the Arduino itself. By using pre-existing ArduinoHue Libraries available on Github we are able to change the input of the device by interpreting the data the our EEG Sensor spits out. All we would have to do is achieve 80% Concentration (mainly Alpha Brain Waves converted into numerical values) to switch the light from on or off.

  • PC
  • Router
  • Philips 452714 9W (60-Watt) A19 Hue Lux Connected Home LED Starter Kit $99.97
  • Electrodes: 2″ x 2″ Premium White Cloth (4/pack) – $1.95
  • Arduino UNO R3 board with DIP ATmega328P – $24.95
  • OpenBCI 8-bit Board Kit (Arduino™-compatible) – $399.99


Plan II:


By purchasing the MindWave Mobile starter Kit product, which is basically an EEG sensor that uses Bluetooth to transfer wave data directly to a Bluetooth enabled PC or mobile device without an Arduino, it enables us to achieve our goal of controlling the Hue light system much more economically. This not only cuts the amount of work we have to do but also makes it practical for a user to walk around and not be strapped down sitting next to a PC since the MindWave sends the brain waves wirelessly using a built in Bluetooth adapter and has 8 hours of battery life using a AAA battery. This is also a safer alternative than Plan 1 because testing and exposing your head and brain to even small voltages can be hazardous and dangerous.

MindWave Headset

Another benefit to the MindWave is that it comes with built-in APIs and support for mobile devices, again helping us achieve our goal more practically while cutting costs. The API we would most likely be taking advantage of is called the ThinkGear Connector (TGC). It is a daemon program that runs in the background and we may use Flash or any other programming language that communicates through sockets. Easier said than done however this is the simplest way to accomplish our goal.

Philips Hue

The last benefit of using MindWave over another EEG sensor connected to an Arduino board is that the MindWave can detect eye blinks which we may utilize to turn lights on and off. For example, 3 sequential eye blinks would trigger the lights. Elaborating on the sensors even further, the MindWave can detect 2 mental states; we could have the Philips Hue system change color based on how the user feels. Another tidbit about using MindWave is that it uses dry electrodes that can measure brainwaves millimeters from the scalp and thus can easily be worn over hair. These sensors are a significant technological breakthrough in that they are the only non-contact EEG sensors ever developed.

Required Equipment:

  • PC or Mobile Device (iOS/Android)
  • Router
  • MindWave Mobile: Brainwave Starter Kit – $99.99
  • Philips 452714 9W (60-Watt) A19 Hue Lux Connected Home LED Starter Kit: – $99.97
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