Nanoleaf's new Screen Mirror modes mimic the colors of what you're watching
You'll need to run it through your PC, so be prepared to hook your laptop up to your TV.
Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
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10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Nanoleaf is best known for its smart, color-changing LED wall panels -- and today, it's debuting a new Screen Mirror feature for the things. Download the free software to your Mac or PC then turn the feature on, and your triangular or square-shaped panels will mimic the colors of whatever's playing on your screen in real time.
The rub is that it only works with computer screens, so you won't be able to mirror what's playing on your television unless you've got it hooked up as a king-sized display for your laptop (kudos to Nanoleaf for being pretty transparent about this in the pics and the promo video below). Of course, PC gamers who already use the things as decorative backdrops for where they play won't mind one bit.
One other limitation worth noting: the Screen Mirror feature doesn't work with Netflix if you're a Mac user.
That PC software approach (and the fact that it limits you to mirroring your computer screen) is the same as what we initially saw from Hue Entertainment, a similar color-matching feature from
Hue. That feature got an upgrade this year with the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, which reads the incoming HDMI signal from
and other devices that connect to your television in order to match what you're watching with real-time lighting effects.
I wouldn't expect Nanoleaf to follow suit with HDMI hardware like that of its own anytime soon, but the new desktop software still seems like a good start. Along with the basic mosaic-like mimicry of "Match" mode, you can try "Melt," "Fade," or "Palette" modes for color-changing effects that are slower or more subtle. You can also rotate or mirror your display to make it look like your panels are reflecting what's on your screen as opposed to just copying it.
Beyond the Screen Mirror feature, Nanoleaf says that the desktop software is also designed to serve as a more powerful control center for large-sized setups. You'll have full access to the same controls as the app, along with the ability to control your setup without an internet connection, which seems like a handy backup at the very least.
You can find the Nanoleaf Desktop App available as a free download by clicking here.