Ario, a company founded by a former Microsoft employee and a Large Hadron Collider engineer, is launching its first product, a smart lamp, on Kickstarter today. While it looks like any other sleek industrial lamp, the smart lamp connects to the Internet, so its LED bulbs can mimic the sunlight exactly as it should be shining at your time of day, in your location. Exposure to this natural hue and time-appropriate serving of sunlight will, Ario alleges, make you healthier and more energetic.
The lamp is turned on and off by either physical buttons or a dedicated smartphone app. Ario’s lamp is designed to automatically adjust the light according to time of day. After assembling the lamp, turn it on and connect it to your Wi-Fi. The lamp will gather GPS location and time/date information to change the hue and intensity of light (brighter and bluer at midday, dimmer and more orange at and after dusk).
Some research, including studies done by NASA, supports the idea that different colors of light can affect human sleep cycles. “[The Ario lamp] is not just a mood lamp or for entertainment–it physically stimulates and relaxes the body,” says Ario cofounder Brian Hoskins.
The Ario lamp uses LED bulbs that are aimed to bounce light off nearby walls in a more natural, ambient fashion. The LEDs can also shine in hues that match daylight, dusk, and everything in between. And since they’re LEDs, the bulbs should last far longer than incandescent bulbs.
Previous research suggests that staring into bright, blue-white computer digital screens at night can disrupt sleep. The Ario lamp can be programmed to automatically dim by a certain time each night.
“Your body clock is something that appreciates consistency, and if you expose yourself to different kinds of light, it’s not what your body wants,” says Hoskins.
The Ario team includes cofounder Hoskins, who was a product manager at Microsoft for 15 years; cofounder Bing Chen, an electrical engineer who worked at the Large Hadron Collider for CERN; and cofounder Dale Dell’Ario, who has worked in product development for over 40 years.
If the Kickstarter campaign for the lamp is successfully funded, Ario hopes to begin shipping to customers in the third quarter of 2016.
The Ario team is already thinking about Internet of Things integration, including the possibility of matching the Ario lamp with local temperature and other environmental controls that could affect health.