Open Innovation to Help Build Smart Homes

May 21, 2013 By IdeaConnection

450px-Koelkast_openOpen innovation and crowdsourcing are putting the smart home within easy reach of people. GE has teamed up with Quirky to form Wink, an inspiration and innovation platform.

The hope is to create a line of smart appliances for the home that have been dreamed up by Wink’s users.

Quirky is a platform where people can suggest ideas – half-baked or fully formed and all points in between.  If they are liked by fellow users they are designed, made and marketed. Initial proposers of the technologies can earn up to 30% of the profits.

GE is opening up thousands of its patents and technologies to the Wink/Quirky community so that people can use them as the basis for developing their own product ideas.

According to Quirky, users will have “the full ability and license to use” the patents in pursuit of their own creative ideas.

Product Screening

In April the first Wink product evaluation was held, where 17 products were selected for development.  These included an app-enabled pet food dispenser, an app-enabled pollen counter/air purifier, and a device for measuring how much milk is left in the fridge.

Featured Patents

The library of patents and intellectual properties are due to come online this month.  When operational, users will see a clutch of featured patents and they’ll also be able to search for patented technologies.

Some of the available patent categories will be:

    • Barrier coatings
    • Telematics and asset tracking technology
    • Optical systems, including holographic technologies


For a general introduction to the open innovation project watch the video below:


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