Nanoleaf, the company behind those eye-catching and touch-sensitive Canvas light squares, is rolling out a new Screen Mirror feature for its desktop app that lets you mirror the image on your PC or Mac screen onto your Canvas squares or Nanoleaf Light PanelsRemove non-product link.
Slated to roll out today in a free update to the Nanoleaf desktop app, the Screen Mirror feature boasts a range of mirroring modes. The “Match” mode, for example, aggressively mirrors the images on the screen, good if you’re watching, say, an action-packed Marvel movie or if you’re playing Fornite, while the tamer “Melt” mode might be better suited for a drama, or if you’re using your PC as a digital photo frame.
If the idea of colored lights synced with your PC screen via a desktop app sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Philips Hue Play, the bias lighting kit that uses the Philips Hue Sync desktop app to sync up your PC or Mac display with the included Hue Play light bars.
Just like the Philips Hue Play kit, Nanoleaf’s Screen Mirror feature only works with visuals on your computer. If you want your Canvas or Light Panel layouts synced with the images on a standard TV, you’ll need to use the Nanoleaf Desktop app on your PC or Mac and then somehow mirror your display on your TV, either with an HDMI cable or via AirPlay or Chromecast. (It’s worth noting that the new $230 Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box can perform the screen-syncing trick without a PC, but it does require a $60 Hue BridgeRemove non-product link.)
While Nanoleaf’s Screen Mirror feature works with both Windows and Mac systems, it can’t sync up with Netflix on a Mac (likely due to Netflix’s copy-protection schemes).
The Screen Mirror feature arrives a couple of years after Nanoleaf’s Rhythm, a $50 add-on module that allows Nanoleaf Light Panels (formerly known as Aurora) to react to music.
Update: In the original version of this story, we noted that the Screen Mirror feature would let you mirror your computer screen on just half your Canvas or Light Panel layouts, and that you would also be able to flip your mirrored visuals upside down. While that functionality was mentioned in an earlier version of Nanoleaf’s briefing materials, it was removed from the final version.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.