Purple’s POP: A Smart Light Bulb for Deaf and Hard Of Hearing People

“POP” is a Wi-Fi-enabled smart light bulb that works on a direct link to Purple's video relay service platform.

Purple Communications, an interpreting services provider for the deaf and hard of hearing, has teamed up with Lifx to develop a connected light bulb specifically designed for these users’ needs.


Some smart light bulbs can already give visual signals to notify a call or text message. Depending on the brands and mobile applications used, the light will either change color or blink. Purple Communications decided to go further with “POP”, a Wi-Fi-enabled smart light bulb that works on a direct link to Purple's video relay service platform, ensuring notifications are not dependent on Bluetooth or external hubs, therefore guaranteeing users never miss a call.

Configurable colors

POP’s users will be able to configure five different flashing colors so that different people in a household can get visual alerts of calls specifically for them. In a press release dated October 2016, Purple's Chief Technical Officer Dennis Episkopos said their customers had been very enthusiastic about this feature, adding that the product’s easy setup, requiring no bridge, was also appreciated. “It's important that we, as a company and as an advocate for the community we serve, harness every potential to make people's lives better”, he said.

As for Lifx, the American brand will be able to get direct feedback from hard of hearing people. This data will allow them to develop the technology and create functional and fun environments, “expanding the idea of a truly connected home”.

Video Relay Service (VRS) explained

Purple Communications has been a video relay service (VRS) provider for over thirty years in the US. This video telecommunication service allows deaf and hard of hearing individuals to communicate (over video telephones, smartphones or tablets) with hearing people in real time via a sign language interpreter. Translation happens both ways: in sign and spoken language.

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