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Hello from Brooklyn

I joined Apple straight out of college on June 23, 2003, which many would consider perfect timing. For almost ten years, every project was new and exciting, and I was lucky to end on a high note by leading the engineering team responsible for Multi-Touch Textbooks within iBooks. When I left Apple to pursue a variety of non-technical projects, I still had the desire to keep up with the latest in iPhone development, so here we are.

 

This is the view from my rooftop "office".  Back at Apple, my room for secret projects was a windowless bunker that was smaller than my arm span in both directions. I don't miss that part. The tall tower you see in the distance is One World Trade Center, busy with construction cranes. I come up here often to read, or code, or just have a beer. Sunsets remind me that color and light speak to humans in a way that, like music, is tightly bound to how we experience emotions and the world around us.

Network-connected LED lights are the future. They save energy. They can produce all the colors of the rainbow. They can talk to your iPhone, and to each other. At the moment they are expensive, but these bulbs work long enough that you should consider putting them in your will. Soon they will be everywhere. If you've ever walked into a restaurant and thought, "wow, nice mood in here," the lighting probably has a lot to do with it. Having control over warm and cool color temperatures (or the party colors!) can do more for the mood of your living room than a fresh coat of paint. It's hard to describe, but for some people, after living with Hue lights for a few months, it feels like the jump from black & white to color television.

Where does Lightbow come in? After Philips opened up their amazing Hue light bulbs for developers, a rush of apps emerged to play with home lighting. They can make your lights mimic colors from your favorite photo, or automatically flash when your favorite team scores a goal, but I couldn't find anything that struck the right balance between solid "everyday" features and fun gimmicks you only use once to show off to your friends. I needed a simple, clean, and beautiful controller app for everyday life. Lightbow aims to fill that gap. Over time, I'll add features that add value without sacrificing the original vision. My current pace is about one release each month. This app is something I'd be building anyway for my own enlightenment, but I am very grateful to all Lightbow users for making it possible to pay for all the hardware, software, and services to keep up the momentum. The future is bright.