After spinning itself off as its own company in 2016, Philips Lighting has now made the decision to change its name to Signify, the firm said earlier this week. However, there won't be any change for those who own Signify's products, as of this writing. In fact, for the foreseeable future, the company plans to continue using the Philips name for all of its products in every region in which it operates, meaning the popular Philips Hue smart lighting solutions will all remain the same – saving owners the trouble of having to search out products that have been rebranded when their bulbs eventually burn out. The same goes for all of its other products, such as the less-known Philips ColorKinetics and more traditional bulbs.
Bearing all of that in mind, it isn't immediately clear what the reason behind the sudden name change could be. It may just be that the company wants to further distance itself as its own entity, separate from its parent, Royal Philips. That's a plausible reason on its own and happens among spin-off companies frequently enough. On the other hand, Signify CEO Eric Rondolat's comments on the matter only add further mystery to the whole situation. His explanation actually lines up fairly well with at least one definition of the word "Signify," which can be defined as "be a symbol of; have as meaning." More specifically, Rondolat says that the choice comes down to how light "becomes an intelligent language, which connects and conveys meaning." He even went on to call it a clear expression of the company's "strategic vision and purpose," which Rondolat views as ultimately being to unlock the potential of light.
The wording of the executive's statement seems to be carefully chosen but doesn't necessarily get anybody any closer to an answer. It could mean that the company plans to explore other ways to make lighting more intelligent, with consideration for the rapid expansion of the IoT. For example, Signify may opt to conduct its own research in and release its own products based on LiFi, which is an internet connectivity technology based on data transmitted via more traditional lighting. Conversely, the name may just symbolize a new approach to marketing or global efforts with current products – including smart, traditional, and LED lighting.