Meet Aros, the smart AC unit that learns your preferences and automatically cools your house

aros smart ac unit learns preferences screen shot 2014 03 19 at 10 27 36 am

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.

quirky arosLike 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.”

It’s not available just yet, but if you want to lock one down early, you can pre-order Aros on Amazon for 300 bucks. Find out more here.

Emerging Tech

Can a bracelet really let you control your dreams?

Like many tech products that emerge on crowdfunding platforms, Instadreamer is at once imaginative, intriguing, and somewhat suspect. The bracelet’s creators say their device will let users “take control of their dreams” by inducing…
Smart Home

Rise and shine with the best alarm clocks to kick-start your day

People are finicky about their sleeping habits, but, fortunately, the best alarm clocks can probably match your lifestyle and budget. Here are some of our current favorites, including the Amazon Echo Spot.
Home Theater

TV calibration 101: Here's how to tune up the picture of your new TV

You’ve got your new TV out of the box, but now what? Our TV picture adjustment guide takes you through the simple steps to get the best picture from your brand new TV so you can set it and forget it.
Emerging Tech

7 drone crashes that will make you fly your bird more carefully

If you've been getting a bit reckless with your drone and suspect you may be heading toward a spectacular crash, then these messy drone mishaps should help you avoid such a calamity.
Smart Home

Amazon ups its smart home game with a new Echo Show, microwave, and clock

Amazon revealed a whole bunch of new smart home products at its annual hardware event in Seattle this week including a redesigned Echo Show, a smart microwave, a new security platform, and more.
Smart Home

Amazon gives the Ring Stick Up Camera a 1080 HD upgrade

Amazon revealed an update to the Ring Stick Up Camera that includes a new body design and an improved, 1080 HD camera to livestream any action that crosses in front of the lens. The new model comes in wired and battery-powered versions.
Product Review

With the thump of an Echo Sub, Alexa goes from an assistant to a DJ

Amazon’s Echo Sub can pair with an Echo to provide the room-filling bass that little speakers just can’t muster on their own. And at $130, all that bass won’t break the bank, either.
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.
Smart Home

Forget smart locks: Locky makes your keys smarter

Instead of an expensive and complicated smart lock, consider making your conventional key smarter instead using Locky, a Bluetooth-equipped key case that communicates key location, use, and door lock status via a smartphone app.
Product Review

Invisible until you need it, SimpliSafe is a no-hassle way to watch your home

These days, there a lot of do-it-yourself home security systems out there. How do you choose? Simplisafe’s latest offering brings together beautiful hardware and the ability to customize your home security package. We do wish that we…
Smart Home

It cooks! It blends! Instant Pot strikes again with a blender that can cook

From the creators of the popular Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker comes the Instant Pot Ace blender, which can both cook and pulverize food. It turns soups, purees and the like into one-pitcher operations.
Smart Home

New to Instant Pot? A no-pressure guide to using the popular pressure cooker

The versatility of the Instant Pot makes it a great kitchen companion, but it also makes the multicooker a little intimidating if you're a newbie. Here are some tips on how to use the magical device.
Smart Home

Amazon’s partnership with SideChef makes Alexa your sous chef

Amazon and SideChef are cooking up a new interactive kitchen experience as Amazon integrates SideChef's recipes into its new Echo devices, enabling users to access recipes, photos, and video demos.
Smart Home

A study says kids and security spur people’s smart home purchases

Why are more people inviting internet-connected smart home devices into their households? According to a survey sponsored by Home Depot, the growth is primarily being driven by children and security.