Quirky And GE Devices Attempt To Create A Connected Home [Pics]
Gadgets make home life easier by letting you check the fridge and turn on the AC from afar.
Quirky, the crowd-sourced invention platform finally giving you an outlet for all your brilliant 4AM ideas, has partnered with GE to offer a line of wifi-enabled home devices. Co-branded as Wink: Instantly Connected, the line comprises five items — a clock, a piggy bank, a power strip, an egg holder, and a sensor — each with an accompanying app, so you can access them wherever you are.
The Pivot Power Genius is a well-designed power strip, wifi aside. Each plug swivels side-to-side so you (probably) don’t have to deal with that one bulky plug that takes up three sockets’ worth of space. (Why do they even make electrical plugs that way?) But two of its four sockets are also ‘smart,’ meaning that whatever you plug into them can be turned on or off from anywhere using the Wink app. So when your house faces imminent destruction by curling iron fire, you can use your phone to prevent it.
Kid-friendly Porkfolio is a piggy bank that teaches financial responsibility. As coins are fed into the back, the device keeps track of them, sending updated totals to the Wink app. Kids with smartphones can then make up for the fact that they’re kids with smartphones by setting savings goals and learning the value of a dollar.
Nimbus lets you keep track of any four things — the time, of course, but also weather, emails, likes, traffic, humidity, and more — on one display, which you can place wherever you’d like to see this information. Possibilities include your desk, bedside table, or kitchen counter. Spotter will also help you keep track of stuff. The multipurpose sensor can be set to measure movement, humidity, temperature, and light, alerting you to significant changes via push notification. Is your laundry done yet? You don’t even have to tear yourself away from GTA V to go check — placed on top of the machine, Spotter will detect change in motion and let you know when it’s stopped.
The final Wink gadget — for now, anyway — is the Egg Minder. Created for egg lovers, the smart tray keeps track of the number and age of eggs you have, allowing you to virtually peek inside the fridge when you’re grocery shopping. No more calling home asking someone to perform this arduous task for you.
The Wink line is available on Quirky’s site now, and by the end of this week, at Best Buy and Home Depot locations, as well. Every Quirky invention sprung from the imagination of a random stranger, who also receives royalties on their finished product along with those Quirky community members who contributed to its design. Pivot Power’s inventor, for example, high schooler Jake Zien, is set to earn $1 million in royalties this year.
But there is stiff competition — for the privilege of going into production, each of the Wink gadgets beat out over 2,000 other ideas.