The Premise. In the 21st century, a lot of innovation and engineering has gone into making artificial light less energy-intensive, longer-lasting, and more natural to the health of the eye. But why do our lightbulbs only serve to illuminate the dark when they could be doing much more?
The Product. The AirBulb is a smart, Bluetooth LED lightbulb that syncs up to iOS and Android devices that has an internal speaker for enjoying music without any complicated wiring. AirBulb can be used in any standard lamp socket and can be controlled traditionally or through the AirBulb app. With the app, light warmth can be changed, and the bulb can be set to flash in conjunction with an alarm clock or as a notification of an incoming call.
The Pitch. Aptly named for a project such as this, Hong Kong’s Avantconcept shows off its vision that every home not only needs light, but also a means to enjoy music. The video goes over all the current features of the device, and the campaign pictures highlight the technical specifications of the product and break down the reward tiers simply. Avantconcept needs $100,000 to finish mass manufacturing and the AirBulb, and has also set a stretch goal at $150,000 at which point more features will be added including multiple brightness levels and notifications for social media, text messages, email, and low battery.
The Perks. A pledge of $59 gets backers one AirBulb to use in their home. Higher tiers can be used to order several at once, and all AirBulbs are expected to be delivered at the end of 2014.
The Potential. Overall, this feels like a neat tech idea but also like an abuse of technological power. While some might be attracted to AirBulb, others will struggle to find a reason why lightbulbs and speakers should be one in the same. Paying nearly $60 for a lightbulb will give some hesitation, while others will wonder just how much the acoustics of a lampshade will affect the enjoyment of their music. Chalk this up as a novelty for now, and don’t expect people to set up their homes to resemble The Exorcist when a call comes in, but maybe in just a few short years products like these will become the standard.
Michael Radon is a full-time writer who resides in New Mexico and is currently working as Editor-in-Chief on an upcoming magazine about retro video games.