GE and Quirky Make a Bold Push for the Connected Home

The duo announce new products and a new factory

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Despite losing access to hundreds of appliance patents due to Electrolux’s recent acquisition of GE Appliances, Quirky's partnership with the manufacturing giant continues to bear fruit.

This week, duo announced a slew of new smart home gadgets, including seven new sensors.

GE and Quirky are pushing to make the smart home simple, accessible, and affordable. Tweet It

All of the new products work with Quirky’s Wink app, which allows users to easily access and control connected devices. The launch also coincides with GE's push to make the smart home more accessible and affordable. To that end, the company has launched a marketing site, teaching consumers about smart home devices and allowing them to browse through a catalog of Wink-compatible devices.

The devices unveiled this week include a window and door sensor, a water leak sensor, a smart power outlet, a light switch that can control smart light bulbs, a garage door opener, and a connected thermostat.

Spotter UNIQ Sensors
Choose four of six sensors for your UNIQ: temperature, humidity, sound, light, passive infrared, and motion. View Larger

Those six are pretty simple extensions of the existing Wink infrastructure, but the seventh new gadget is a little different. The Spotter UNIQ is an evolution of Quirky's old Spotter multi-purpose sensor. Each UNIQ unit is customizable and built-to-order, meaning you can choose four of the sensors that will be installed, pick the unit’s color, and decide whether it will take AA batteries, use a rechargeable cell, or plug into the wall for power.

Mass-producing custom-made tech sounds like a tall order, but Quirky is counting on its upcoming San Francisco “microfactory” to tackle the task. This new facility will be equipped with a plastic injection molding line, automated circuit board assembly machines, and 3D printers. Its focus is built-to-order electronics for the smart home, and the Spotter UNIQ is slated to be the first product off the line.

This bold push may be motivated by an in-house study gauging smart home interest among American adults. The survey found that 83% of respondents are considering adopting smart home technology, but price remains a major barrier. The connected home is still viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity. It remains to be seen whether GE and Quirky's efforts can change that perception.

Via: GE Newsroom

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