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Video: Philips hue and two fun apps stir up FIFA World Cup finals fever

APTOPIX Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Germany

Do you have any of the Philips hue smart lightbulbs installed in your home? If you do, grab your iPhone, pull up the App Store, and grab two apps that promise to get you in the mood for the remaining FIFA World Cup games. Those games are scheduled for Saturday at 4 PM ET to determine the third-place team (host country Brazil vs. The Netherlands) and on Sunday at 3 PM ET to crown the World Cup champion and second-place team (Germany vs. Argentina).

The first app is Hue World Cup for Philips hue (US$1.99), which is a "sound and light effects board" that works with the Philips hue bulbs to create a wild mix of light and sound. Select a country, and you can play the national anthem accompanied by a light show featuring that country's flag colors. There are plenty of sound effects to get you in the mood, even if you can't be in Brazil for the last few games: crowd noises, drums, horns, you name it!

Developer David Pewzner's OnSwitch for Philips hue and LIFX (free) provides different moods that evoke Iceland, New Mexico, the Sahara, and other light tints. He's added special World Flag effects now, which provide special lighting and sound whenever a goal is scored.

Of course, being "that guy" who likes to control everything in his house from his iPhone, I just had to give this setup a try with the Philips hue lightbulbs I have installed. The free OnSwitch app was tested first -- the app provides two sets of country flags. On Saturday, for example, I could use the World Flags 1 set which contains both Red/White/Blue countries (Netherlands) and the Green/Yellow/Blue flag of Brazil. Selecting a flag for the team I'm rooting for lets me know that if I'm running the app when a goal is scored by my team, the lights will flash in a spectrum of colors and I'll hear a horn. The rest of the time, the app cycles the lights between the country's colors -- with the Netherlands, it cycled between red, white and blue.

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But it's the Hue World Cup for Philips hue app that is really a lot of fun. You can start off the game with the national anthem of your country's team, accompanied by the flag colors flashing on the lights. There are a number of sound effects you can choose to play, and all of the sounds can be sent to speakers over AirPlay. Crowd noises, horns, drums, clapping -- you name it, they've thought of it. It's probably the closest thing to being at the Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro for the final.

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If you're a football (soccer) fan who already has Philips hue lights, it's time to grab the apps and get ready for this weekend's matches. No Philips hue lights? No problem -- head to your local Apple Store and pick up the Philips hue Connected Bulb Starter Pack for $199.95.

Photo: AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool

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