Tech

Smart Home With Wink: GE And Quirky Offers Patents And Resources To Inventors

By Zach White , May 08, 2013 04:42 PM EDT
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While many international organizations of engineers are working to develop a cohesive set of standards for the emerging smart home technology market, and major businesses with existing backgrounds in the appliance and electronics fields are pushing for those standards to develop the next generation of their products, a coalition of these groups, along with smaller tech startups and even individual home inventors, has launched to bring as many minds to the smart home table as possible.

GE and crowd-sourced product development startup Quirky have teamed up to form Wink, which will merge the strength and resources of GE with the nimble imagination of individual users to bring futuristic smart home technology into actual use as soon as possible.

“The partnership will consist of two parts: a groundbreaking platform where GE will open thousands of its most promising patents and technologies to the Quirky community for the development of new consumer products; and a co-branded initiative to build a full line of app-enabled devices for the home, revolutionizing fields such as health, security, water and air through GE’s advanced manufacturing tools and technologies,” Quirky wrote on its blog. “This new line of products will be co-branded Wink: Instantly Connected.”

The GE patent-sharing just opened last week, but Wink users have been submitting ideas since the announcement last month.

The partnership also includes assistance from Electric Imp, which has developed a platform for making any device smarter, for integration with projects like those being solicited by Wink. Could there be a more perfect match?

“Electric Imp makes it simple to bring the Internet to your devices,” its website says.”With imp connectivity you can empower your devices with intelligence, customization, and convenience. The possibilities are endless.

“The imp is a powerful, yet tiny, hardware module that runs the imp OS. Our operating system provides the foundation to build advanced features and services for your devices, and it works with the imp Cloud to provide seamless and secure connectivity of your devices to software, third party services and external servers. Our solution gives your customers the simplest WiFi setup using our patent-pending BlinkUp technology, and with connectivity you’ll be able to monitor the health and activity of your devices in the field and roll-out updates at anytime... and from anywhere.”

The groups have also been holding regular product evaluations, where professionals discuss Wink’s progress.

The next evaluation is scheduled for May 21.

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