Cherry has been working with chip maker NXP on a physical light switch for smart bulbs that’s entirely self sustaining. Pressing the switch generates a small amount of energy, with the actuator inside the switch generating the necessary power to send out a brief radio signal that will turn a smart bulb on or off. As you would expect from Cherry, the physical feedback is excellent — you’ve probably never used a lightswitch this good.
Unfortunately, NXP isn’t entirely optimistic about the light switch’s chances of making it to market. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to hear that those buying expensive smart LED bulbs are perfectly content to operate them using a smartphone or tablet, so the company is only really appealing to a very small section of an already niche market. Still, the bulbs themselves should be significantly cheaper — around the $20 to $30 mark rather than the $60 that Philips is asking for.
Update: NXP has gotten in touch to clarify the situation. Energy harvesting switches like the Cherry are indeed on the horizon, but the company can't delve into specifics until partners announce their own products.
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