We’ve seen some pretty crazy light bulbs in the past couple years, everything from bulbs with integrated speakers to LEDs that change color on demand to lights that automatically come on when they sense your presence. We thought we’d seen it all, until Beam came along.
Designed by L.A.-based startup Beam Labs, the Beam bulb straddles the line between light bulb and projector. It’s basically a network-connected, app-enabled pico projector stuffed inside a stylish lamp casing. Just screw it into any light socket, sync it with the device of your choice, and you’re off to the races.
Under the hood, Beam is equipped with a veritable boatload of tech. It’s got a microcomputer that runs Android, a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of built-in storage, a pair of speakers, and even an LED ring that lets you use it like a normal light bulb. There’s also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity built in, so you can link it up to just about anything you want: smartphones, tablets, game controllers, keyboards, and more.
And because it runs Android, it can run any app available in the Google Play Store. Want to watch Netflix on your kitchen countertop? Display some digital art on your wall? Stream music from your network drive? Play Angry Birds on your floor? It’s all possible with Beam.
The device is still under development at this point, but once it’s released, Beam will also be integrated with IFTTT, making it compatible with a broad range of different web services and connected devices.
Beam Labs has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for production, and despite the fact that it’s only been live for a couple days, the project has already raised over 50 percent of its $200K goal. All the early-bird backer rewards have already been snagged up, but you can still lock down a Beam of your own for a pledge of $400. If the campaign is a success, Beam Labs expects to start shipping sometime in October.