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Quirky + GE

Quirky had partnered with GE to help reinvent their brand and technologies in the consumer space. Through our Invention Platform, GE  granted Quirky a license to the majority of their vast patent portfolio, allowing our community to use proven GE technologies as part of their own consumer product ideas. The Quirky community and staff were excited to work with GE and leverage things like a quality-assurance program, regulatory knowledge, and 100+ years of patents and experience. GE were intrigued by the community dynamic and the speed by which the internal team at Quirky was able to get great products to market.

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After six months of work, Quirky + GE got it’s first chance to be seen on retail aisles. The Home Depot became the first major retailer to agree to sell all of the Quirky + GE Smart Home products. The partnership’s first five products became available in almost 2,000 stores nationwide. That was just the beginning. 18 months later, Quirky had created an entire ecosystem of Smart Products, a powerful App (WINK) that interacts with hundreds of connected devices from leading brands, and a comprehensive campaign to educate the world on what it means to live in the connected home.

The first Quirky+GE Eval (our process of picking ideas from the community) crowned 17 new inventors, including a connected pet-food dispenser and an air filter that adjusts itself based on pollen counts. It was also our first exposure to Egg Minder, the smart egg tray and Nimbus, the connected alarm clock, two products that would help shape the relationship between the two companies further. We narrowed it down to five products ­— Spotter, Nimbus, Pivot Power Genius, Porkfolio and Egg Minder and got them to store shelves in four months. Making these products was a huge shift for Quirky as a company and they also led to the creation of our sister company Wink.

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As Quirky + GE began putting out great connected products, we knew we needed a great App to harness their power. Wink was born!  A quick and simple way to connect you and all the products you rely on every day in your home.

Our initial five products did fairly well, GE were impressed and we decided to create a whole new line of connected products. Aros was the pride and joy of the collection a smart connected air conditioner that was a beautiful as it was intelligent. We also proposed to make an LED bulb that looks like an incandescent, works like a smart bulb, but costs only $15. GE had been trying to do this for a while and we created the Link light bulb for them.

The new Quirky + GE packaging needed to be significantly different than Quirky's product line. We combined color and App illustrations to create differentiation at retail. This helped first time buyers understand these new smart products.

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We documented the exciting journey of our partnership, designing a magazine to show the results to potential investors and to the GE and Quirky communities.

VIRESH CHOPRA
vireshchopra@gmail.com