A familiar part of the New Years celebration in Times Square is getting a bit of a twist as the world-renowned lights will be controlled this year via a smartphone app. Our Adam Balkin filed the following report.
The year 2014 will definitely be different from 2013. I'm not talking about the events of the coming year, though the statement applies there too, but rather quite literally 2014. The 2014 sign that will light up once the ball drops. Actually, it's the one and the four that'll look a bit different, or more colorful. Philips, which lights the ball and the sign has decided to outfit those last two numerals with its Hue light bulbs -- the same ones you can get and color change in your home.
"The beauty of it is the one and the four will sparkle in all different colors and it's all controlled via an app on a smartphone," says Ed Crawford of Philips Lighting. "It's the same basic app you can download on your own smartphone and they use a modified version of that to control the one and the four."
As for what colors the 14 will be and how it'll sync with the ball, even event organizers say they've been kept in the dark on those lights.
"They're keeping it a secret from me. I know they've been programming on the floor above me all week long. They actually flew in someone from China and someone from Europe to actually get this ready for us in time for New Year's Even so it's going to be a big surprise for everybody," says Jeff Strauss of Countdown Entertainment.
So with all this talk about this being the same app you would use at home to control your Hue lights, any chance you'll be able to use that app to then control the 2014 at some point in 2014?
Philips says that since the 2014 sign will be up in Times Square throughout the year, it is looking into the possibility of allowing those visiting the area to light up the new year themselves from down below via their phones.