Review: The Quirky / GE Connected Air Conditioner
New Aros cooler comes with new controls but still doesn’t overcome noise issues associated with A/C units
Earlier this year, Amazon order of a new product from the Quirky and GE collaboration arrived at my apartment in New York. After GE Executive Director Linda Boff and Doreen Lorenzo, President of Quirky gave an inspiring talk at PSFK CONFERENCE 2014, I went out and bought an Aros air conditioner for my kids’ room.
Aros, a new development submitted to Quirky by inventor Garthen Leslie in early 2013, was one of the first products to result from the partnership between Quirky and GE. Funded by 2,994 online Quirky contributors, the air conditioner is operated via the Wink app for smartphones, so owners use their phones as a remote to control the machine from anywhere.
The app is tune to owners’ GPS phone settings and learns their daily routines. It turns off when owners are not home and begins to cool
when they begin their commute back from work or school. With this method, the air conditioner cools the home when needed but does not waste energy on an empty home or apartment.
The box came with a lot of lively packaging. The energy slip explained how the unit did incredibly well compared to other units.
The unit itself looks pretty similar to a regular unit, but its LED lighting give it a sleek, new-age polish. Design features include the front grill, the upward fan and the side panels that come on a spring to fit a window of any size.
What’s more, the machine keeps track of how much someone spends on cooling each month and suggests appropriate settings based on the budget of the person using it. In comparison to other units, Aros’ energy costs are much lower; its smart technology keeps monthly bills in check.
The unit comes with simple controls that even my 6-year-old son could use.
I enjoyed the set up. It was simple but what was different was that my phone communicated to the box with light, to tell it what the wifi code was.
Now I can manage my kids air-conditioning from the living room without disturbing them at night. I can turn the temperature down or speed the fan up.
Click through the gallery for all the images we took.
When Boff and Lorenzo spoke at PSFK CONFERENCE 2014, they highlighted Aros and its use of innovative technology to create a positive change in consumer products.