No, that headline isn't a joke. You can tell we're living in the 21st century when even lightbulbs have SDKs. The new Philips SDK and APIs are for the company's Hue Connected lighting system. Hue lights are WiFi bulbs users can control with an iOS device. Philips is releasing an SDK and API for the lights because they recognized that several developers had backward-engineered the technology to control the lights with their own apps.
Philips hopes that an official SDK will allow more developers to interface with their Hue lighting system. TechCrunch pointed out some examples of what developers might be able to accomplish with the SDK:
The new developer program will mean that hardware makers using these standards can build in Hue-compatible features, so that the lights can be triggered by various actions. You could have a specific light recipe come on whenever you open the door, for instance, or when a thermostat is set to specific climate setting.
Other potential uses of the developer tools include apps for amateur and professional photographers, which could help them optimize lighting for a shoot with a simple app attached to a device with light-level detection capabilities. Philips also plans to release future features around geo-fencing, scheduling and other smartphone sensor capabilities that could expand what developers can do with them.
Interested developers can find out more about the SDK and API here.