AmbiMac, an app creating your own ambilight

Philips created few years ago Ambilight, a TV with a dynamic lights on it back. With two friends, we wanted to design an app with a similar function based on connected light bulb during an hackathon. Here is what we have done in 24h hours of code, let’s meet AmbiMac.

During the last Fhackory, a local hackathon in Lyon, France, I designed CocktailMaker, a connected scale helping make cocktail. This time, with friends, we wanted to create a great app for Mac around connected objects. With this app, the main goal was to create the best light ambiance depending of your current screen. For this project, we based our code on Swift language with the last Xcode 8.3 (Beta 3) to be challenged on our own knowledge. For me, it was the first time working on a OSX app.


The first part was to get access to the video output stream of the laptop. It was the hard part because without it, we should switch to a video player software, analyzing the main colors before reading the video.

With the video output stream, we designed an algorithm to calculate all the relevant colors needed to get our light ambiance.The last part was the communication, we integrated the both LiFX and Philips Hue SDK to work with theirs connected light bulbs. Of course, I would like to work with the HomeKit framework, but it is only the developer simulator. That was not relevant for our study case.

AmbiMac Configuration

We also added a design to select which light bulb will be controlled and how they will be allocated. There were 3 options, we could control 1 , 2 or 4 bulbs at the same time.

AmbiMac Demo

At the end of the week-end, we had a really cool app designed for Mac, streaming colors to LiFX and Philips Hue bulbs. We didn’t win this time but I’m really proud of what we made together, with @photograve and @dteam69. We’re thinking about packaging all our code to distribute our app on the App Store.

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Benoit Pasquier

Software Engineer 🇫🇷, writing about career development, mobile engineering and self-improvement

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