Skip to main content

Giddy gives hobbyists and inventors a shot at creating that new toaster

giddy overhead image of a workspace on the desk
First there was FirstBuild, a GE Appliances subsidiary that allowed the Haier-owned appliance giant to develop groundbreaking products like the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.

Now, GE Appliances is planning to expand on the idea behind FirstBuild with the launch of Giddy, an online community that allows any business to co-create with anyone willing to help develop new products or improve existing ones.

“It’s the best ideas that haven’t found their way forward,” Taylor Dawson, CEO of Giddy, told Digital Trends at the Consumer Electronics Show. “Companies are continuing to evolve the way they approach innovation, and are more willing to go outside their four walls to generate good ideas. We’re giving businesses access to fresh thinking, while providing opportunities for people to do what they love and gain experience.”

Here’s how it works: Giddy allows any business — GE Appliances related or not — to post challenges for the community to solve. So, say a company wants to create a certain type of home brewing system, for example. Instead of using its own resources to develop a plan and device prototype, the firm can turn to Giddy, a platform that allows businesses to post the idea as a challenge to the community via an app. From there, anyone can submit plans as long as they follow the criteria set forth in the challenge.

Once selected, the Giddy team helps businesses coordinate their challenges and provide guidance until there is an idea or framework for a product that can be taken to production by the business.

While businesses will pay a fee to use Giddy, amateur inventors, hobbyists and makers can join for free. Once registered, members can then view all the existing challenges and work on those that match their expertise. Giddy uses simple language for easy participation, multimedia for submissions, and an online voting system to gather community feedback.

“Yes, the technology is great, but the value is in Giddy’s creative community from artists to engineers and makers,” Dawson said. “We saw the power of community and open innovation at FirstBuild. If it worked that well for GE appliances, we’re confident other companies can benefit from a similar approach.”

Dawson showed Digital Trends a challenge called the “Drink Sink” at CES, where the public was invited to improve on — you guessed it — a sink that is more user friendly. In addition to helping other companies with their product development, Giddy will manage the online communities for GE Appliances’ growing FirstBuild business, which has created some innovative stuff in its own right, including the Paragon mat, which Digital Trends awarded the top tech designation at CES 2017.

FirstBuild now includes a founding location in Louisville, Kentucky that designs and builds products for FirstBuild and GE Appliances as well as a new location in Shanghai, China, which opened in 2017 and focuses on electronics, software, and hardware projects. A future location is scheduled to open in 2018 in India with a focus on IoT and connected technologies.

What does this mean for consumers? Well, two things: First, those who are fans of FirstBuild products might be excited to hear that more innovative products are on the way. Second, budding engineers might have the opportunity of a lifetime to create something great — and their ideas will actually count.

Editors' Recommendations

Kim Wetzel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before joining Digital Trends as Home Editor, Kim was an adjunct journalism professor at Linfield College and high school…
GE’s blistering home pizza oven makes your normal oven look like a toaster
GE Monogram Pizza Oven

Pizzeria-style pizza demands insane heat.

Even if you dabble with your dough recipe, perfect your acrobatic stretching tosses, and import your water from NYC, getting a crackly crust at home requires more heat than standard ovens can muster. Most of them struggle to reach around 550 degrees, while commercial pizza ovens hit a screaming 800 degrees or more.

Read more
Haier buys GE Appliances for $5.4 billion
haier buys ge appliances for 5 4 billion company sign logo hq headquarters featured

At CES 2016, China’s Haier showed off a range of connected appliances it hopes to bring to the U.S. market with its U+ Smart Life platform. Today General Electric announced it’s selling its appliance brand to Haier for $5.4 billion, which Reuters calls the latter company’s biggest deal ever.

Last year, Electrolux attempted to purchase the business for $3.3 billion, but the U.S. Department of Justice raised antitrust concerns in December.

Read more
Lexus will give the compact hatchback segment a second shot in 2017 with a brand new CT hybrid
2015 Lexus CT

Lexus has started developing the next generation of the compact CT, and a new report gives us a better idea of what we can expect from it when it bows.

The second-generation CT will ride on the same modular platform as the fourth-generation Toyota Prius that was introduced a couple of months ago. Switching to the new chassis -- which is called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) internally -- will make the next CT much lighter than the current model (pictured), more efficient, and markedly more responsive to drive while allowing Lexus parent company Toyota to benefit from economies of scale.

Read more