Yes, you read that correctly. SONY has launched a light bulb that contains a Bluetooth speaker. You can control the volume via an app on your smartphone, along with the brightness of the bulb. According to SONY, the goal for this innovation was to make it easy to get audio equipment into locations in the home where it’s normally hard to put audio equipment.
While I don’t want to belittle the technological achievement of being able to combine these two products, it does remind me of the mash-up era we find ourselves where things are combined, it seems, for the sake of combining them (a la donuts being used as buns for a burger). It’s flashy, arresting, and maybe even intriguing for some, but does it have “legs” for the long-term? Does it really solve a problem consumers had before?
In the age of smartphones with decent speakers, mini Bluetooth speakers or Jambox speakers, is there really a need for a speaker in a light bulb? Even if there were, on a more practical level, what happens when the lightbulb gives out? At $199, it is an expensive light bulb to replace.
So while the mashup of a light bulb and speaker is intriguing, it seems to be an innovation for the sake of innovating.