Turning the Tabü LED bulb into an open system and bringing it into the IoT

The only reason that a product is closed system is it hasn't yet been opened and if people care enough, they'll find a way to bring it into the Internet of Things. Anne van Rossum did ...

Credit: Tabü

A while ago I wrote about the Lumen lightbulb made by Tabü, an LED bulb with a maximum power requirement of 7W. It produces a warm white light output equivalent to a 40 Watt incandescent bulb, it's dimmable, and has a maximum lifetime of 30,000 hours. 

Tabü smartphone cntrol Tabü

The bulb also has a 3 Watt RGB mode and can produce any of 16 million colors. On top of all that the Lumen can be controlled from your smartphone or pad via Bluetooth 4.0 and can display changing colors, flash when your phone rings (assuming you’re in range) or synchronize the light with music playing on your phone.

Nice but I have two reservations: 1) At $69.99 it’s very expensive and 2) it’s a closed product. All that flexibility and I can’t add it to any premises automation system and if my phone or pad aren’t near it, it’s just going to be switched on and off like a normal bulb. Worse still, it doesn’t even remember its last setting (when first powered up, it defaults to the warm white setting).

Anne van Rossum Anne van Rossum

I recently got an email from Anne van Rossum (FYI, Anne, pronounced “ann-eh” is a guy) who has opened up the Lumen's little brother, the Lumini: His GitHub Lüminosi page explains:

The device is "protected" by a password and every command that is [sent] to the bulb is obfuscated by an addition and xor operation. You can look for yourself in the code if this is too vague.

Anne van Rossum

To be less vague: Rossum is kind of cagey about exactly how he managed to figure out how to control the Tabü bulb but if I were going to do it I guess I'd decompile the Android app (which is not illegal in Holland, where Rossum lives) and check the mySQL database (because it's probably not encrypted). Then, I'd look in the logs for the password and I'd check to see if every command that is sent to the bulb is obfuscated by an addition and XOR operation. Or something like that.

Rossum’s code is a node.js package and he’d really like to find some collaborators and users to check it out. I’d like to see Tabü get on board and turn the Lumini (and probably the Lumen as well) into something with far greater value than it has as an isolated product.

Anyone who wants to get involved should head to Rossum’s Github page.

And to all manufacturers that create closed products, you could well be missing out on a potentially huge opportunity; becoming part of the Internet of Things. If you're lucky someone like Rossum will come along and open it for you. You should probably say "thanks."


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