A year ago, at CES 2016, North American smart lighting startup Nanoleaf unveiled its newest connected LEDs. They weren't bulbs, but triangular wall panels -- color-changing ones that work with Siri, no less. And, when we finally got the chance to test them out, we kind of loved them.
Now, at CES 2017, Nanoleaf is introducing a new trick for those nifty panels. It's a rhythm mode that'll let you sync them up with whatever music you're listening to for timely and dramatic color changes that fall right in line with the beat. Nanoleaf also pitches it as a cool way to liven up your video gaming habit.
To enable the rhythm mode, you'll need to pick up an extra piece of hardware. It's a music sync module with embedded microphones that connects to your setup just like the panels themselves do. Nanoleaf plans on releasing it this summer -- no word yet on how much it'll cost yet, though.
I'm bullish on the new feature, just as I was bullish on these panels last year. They already run farther with the novelty of color-changing connected light than any other high-profile smart LEDs that I've seen, so a music sync mode that ups the fun factor even further seems like a no-brainer. The fact that the Aurora starter kit comes with nine panels works in its favor, too -- in my experience, music syncing modes like this are really only worth it if you've got more than a couple of lights to work with.
Those nine-panel Nanoleaf Aurora Starter Kits are available now online and at Best Buy for a cool $200 (Aurora panels ship globally from Nanoleaf's website -- the starter kit cost comes out to about £165, or AU$275). That's about as much as you'd spend on a three-bulb Philips Hue Starter Kit, which also lets Siri change the colors of your lights. Additional panels are available in three-packs for $60 -- each Nanoleaf setup can support up to thirty panels in total.