GE and the social product development company Quirky have partnered to enable anyone to get involoved in the development of new products. GE will open thousands of its patents and new technologies to the Quirky community on a new platform.
The first of these will be optical systems, including holographic and fast-focusing lens technologies, barrier coatings, telematics and asset tracking technology. The hope is that these patents will inspire new ideas and revive the concept of patents as sources of inspiration rather than restriction.
A product development initiative will work to build a line of app-enabled connected devices for the home using advanced tools and technologies. These products will be co-branded ‘Wink: Instantly Connected’.
For Quirky this is a way to gain a considerable amount of exposure and revenue for their community. As for GE, they get free product development and cultivate an image of modernity and flexibility by showing that they recognize the need for shorter development periods and agility. Beth Comstock, SVP and chief marketing officer at GE, said:
We admire Quirky’s speed, collaboration and inventiveness and by opening up lab-proven technology and patents to everyday inventors we can help inspire new ideas and accelerate advanced manufacturing innovation. At GE we are passionate about innovation at market speed, working with entrepreneurs and finding new models of business, and this partnership is just another way we can help inspire invention and help scale it. We are excited to see how the Quirky community uses tools from our scientists and technologists around the world to develop products in an entirely different way.