As part of an ongoing partnership with the invention incubator site Quirky, GE announced the launch of a new connected appliance this morning — a smart, wifi-enabled air conditioning unit called Aros that learns your preferences and automatically adjusts itself. Aros is Quirky’s first major connected appliance and the fifth product developed out of the Quirky+GE partnership that began nearly a year ago.
In terms of features, Aros is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a “smart” AC unit. It connects to your home Wi-Fi network, and, with the help of an accompanying mobile app, lets you control the settings from anywhere in the world. The device can also intelligently track your usage patterns to build a custom schedule for you, and automatically bring rooms to your desired temperature before you return home. Designers even built in a “Smart Budget” feature into Aros, which allows you to enter in a budget for the month and get notifications when you’re approaching your energy limit.
Like all other products born on Quirky, the original idea for Aros came from an average Joe like you and me. A guy named Garthen Leslie hatched the idea for the product after he grew tired of fiddling with his own dysfunctional AC unit. “I was tired of choosing between wasting energy or suffering through the stuffy summer heat,” he explained. As the idea began to develop in his mind, Leslie drew up some designs and submitted them to Quirky. Shortly thereafter, the community picked up the idea and ran with it. Over 2,000 different “influencers” helped refine the idea, and over the next three months, Quirky designers and GE engineers went back and forth to turn it into a real product. Now, in just a couple more months, you’ll be able to buy Aros at retail locations like Best Buy, Target, Home Depot, and Walmart.
“This a great example of how by working together GE and Quirky can re-invent an entire category quickly and at scale,” said Kevin Nolan, Vice President of Technology for GE Appliances.”Aros gives consumers a way to connect with new technology in easy-to-use, everyday ways, allowing people to remotely cool their living spaces and save money at the same time – a true breakthrough.”