Syfy is invading your living room with its upcoming 12 Monkeys series by launching the first regular TV show to interact with viewers’ home lighting – that is, as long as you have the right system.
The cable network is partnering with Philips and its Hue home lighting line. The system uses LED bulbs that wireless connect to your modem and can change color. Users typically control their lights via a tablet or smartphone, but in this case, 12 Monkeys will take over, giving connected fans a custom light show synced to the show’s content.
Syfy says their Syfy Sync app “will detect audio cues from 12 Monkeys and translate them to the Web-enabled Hue system. Fans will then be enveloped in the onscreen action through ambient lighting effects designed to engage viewers in an entirely unique way.”
Syfy previously did this stunt with its movie Sharknado 2, but this marks the first time anyone has paired a regular TV show with the home lighting system – the whole 13-episode first season of the time-travel drama will have a “light track.” The bulbs aren’t cheap, however, with a basic system starting around $200.
The move represents the latest attempt to extend live effects beyond the screen and into the viewing room, an effort that may date back to as early as 1916, when the owners of a Pennsylvania theater reportedly dipped cotton into rose oil and put it in front of a fan while screening a newsreel about the Rose Bowl.
Syfy debuts 12 Monkeys on Jan. 16. Previous: How Syfy’s ‘12 Monkeys’ differs from the movie