Designing ‘hueMotion controller’ for Philips Hue lamps

hueMotion, a motion based interaction device for controlling the hue lighting system for a seamlessly wireless experience.


hueMotion conceptual rendering

During the module ‘Designing with complex sensors’ four students; Rik Bootsman, Svetlana Mironcika, Ineke Neutelings and Mart Wetzels worked on an intelligent system to interact in a tangible way with the Philips Hue lamps. They created a physical prototype to show the envisioned scenario and described the system from both the user and system perspective in the diagram below.

The design process was based on the paper;  ‘Making Sense of Sensing Systems:  Five Questions for Designers and Researchers’  written by Victoria Bellotti et al. in which ideas from the social sciences were used to inform the design of novel “sensing” user-interfaces for computing technology. Especially innovative interaction techniques such as ‘Ubiquitous Computing’ and ‘Tangible Interfaces’ show challenges in design. The students took these new insights and during the module developed a way of describing a system by both showing the user perspective as well as the system perspective. Which helps in identifying problems in the interaction e.g. getting stuck in states or actions by the user which do not lead to the expected behavior of the system can be more easily spotted by describing a system in this new way.


The Philips Hue lamps have great potential in changing the mood in a room or restaurant, however the interaction is app based and does not always gives the user a good insight in how light can change the room. By designing a tangible object which gives feedforward about the different colors and saturation and luminance settings the Philips Hue lamps can show, the user is invited to play with the object.

Three actions are envisioned to change all variables of the Philips Hue lamps.

Rotating the knob on top
When the user rotates the knob a color wheel on the bottom will appear which will show the user which colors can be chosen with the rotating knob. As a feedforward mechanism the color ring on the bottom of the device will show a color wheel which will rotate as well to indicate a rotating movement on the knob is necessary to change color. When the knob is rotated the current color is shown on the knob itself.


Moving the device
To change the luminance and saturation of the chosen color, the user can move the object itself around. When he does this the color ring on the bottom will show four areas to which the user can move the device. The areas are full brightness, low brightness on the Y-axis of the device and full saturation and low saturation on the X-axis of the device. In between the areas some LED’s are turned off to convey the axes used by the system. The user can choose any combination of saturation and luminance as long as they are possible to create with the Philips Hue lamps.


Pressing the button
In the rotating knob there is a button which is used to select a specific lamp. By pressing once the first lamp will start blinking as well as the led inside the rotating knob to show the system and this specific lamp are now connected. By rotating the knob and moving the device the color saturation and luminance of the specific lamp can be changed as described before. When pressing the knob again the next lamp will be selected. When all lamps have been selected once the next time you press the button will bring you back to all lamps attending to the system.



Elaborate explanation can be found here