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The Vocca lets almost any lightbulb listen for (and obey) your commands

The Vocca lets almost any lightbulb listen for (and obey) your commands
Chris Velazco
Chris Velazco|@chrisvelazco|August 4, 2014 2:41 PM

We've been controlling lightbulbs with claps for ages now, but you'll soon be able to illuminate your foyer with mere words... as long as the teeming millions and their wallets are down with it. The $39 Vocca is a simple, savvy intermediary that aims to give most regular lightbulbs the ability to spring to life when you say, "Go Vocca light." Lacking in pizzazz, no? Shelling out an extra $10 will net you a slightly smarter Pro model that'll let you customize your activation phrase ("Flame on," maybe?) with your smartphone.

Alas, you'll have to leave those old-school incandescent bulbs high atop that shelf in your closet -- they generate too much heat for Voccas to handle, so you'll need LED or compact fluorescent bulbs instead. That little quandary aside, the Vocca seems like a refreshing bit of kit in an age where you could feasibly drop a few hundred dollars on smartphone-friendly lighting. At first glance, it might not seem as whiz-bang awesome as, say, the Philips Hue or the crowdfunded LIFX, but the Vocca team begs to differ. It's convinced that whipping out a smartphone to control the ambiance takes way more time and effort than flipping a switch or -- you guessed it -- just speaking a command code aloud. Different strokes for different folks, but with just $2,000 more needed at the time of writing to seal this deal, it's clear that people are keen for a cheap, functional way to smarten up their homes.

Oh, and by the way: If you're having a lousy day and need a serious dose of cheese, be sure to watch the team's campaign video. You'll either crack up or cringe; there's not much room for middle ground here.

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The Vocca lets almost any lightbulb listen for (and obey) your commands