Wink Eval Recap: The App-Enabled Future Starts Here
Posted ago by Stephen
Last night, we held our first Wink Product Evaluation with our partners from GE to crown our first series of inventors for our Wink: Instantly Connected product line. The Eval panel featured a number of special guests, including CoolHunting’s Josh Rubin, Undercurrent’s Aaron Dignan, and Hugo Fiennes and Kevin Fox, co-founders of our Wink technology partner Electric Imp. The GE team sent a strong contingent as well, including Brad Irvine, the CEO of GE Idea Works playing the role of realist-in-residence (love that guy!), Bill Kernick, CTO of Idea Works, and Linda Boff, Executive Director of Global Digital Marketing at GE.
We crowned 17 new Quirky inventors last night, or one every 6 minutes. Without further ado, here is the first series of awesome ideas be picked for the Wink product line:
Our first Quirky inventor crowned last night was Denny Fong, who submitted a concept called iSpy. iSpy is a set of compact, portable nodes that use tiny light, sound, and vibration sensors to alert your smart phone when triggered. This will enable you to use your mobile app to monitor anything you want, from your dog eating a box of cookies while you’re at work, to home security while you’re on vacation.
Invention number two, from Jacob Riesgaard of Georgia, is an app-powered pet food dispenser. Jacob’s concept will have settings for administering medications, plus a low food warning. This allows loving pet owners to keep their pets healthy and fed, even if a busy schedule keeps them away from home past dinner time.
Then, in what may have been the fastest Eval decision ever, we decided to move forward with Michael Schlecht’s invention, an app-enabled pollen counter/air purifier. As Michael wrote, “I’d love an air purifier tied to pollen counts for my area that could turn on automatically and help keep the air clean.” That’s hard to disagree with!
Our next selection is more, well, maternal. Enter the Formul-o-matic, an app-enabled baby formula maker, proposed by inventor Wendy Leon. From the ability to start formula batches on your commute home, to automatic feeding time reminders, there’s so much this device will do to ease the lives of new mothers and baby caretakers everywhere!
And not only did we improve formula last night, but we improved milk too: Marc Rumaner invented the Milk Mat, a device that uses weight to tell how much milk is left in the jug. Pretty slick, isn’t it? You’ll never have spoiled milk again!
The next Wink concept comes from electrical engineer Walter Fidrocki, a home improvement expert who wants to create a garage door opener with a wall switch replacement. This would allow you to control your garage door directly from your smartphone, regardless of its make or model.
Next up was Jen Jedlicka‘s Mouse TrApp, which sends a notification when you’ve caught a mouse inside a mouse trap. This ensures that the mouse can be found and disposed of humanely, helping prevent unwanted surprises (and smells). Pretty darn cool, and yes, it had Brad’s seal of approval!
At Quirky, we believe it’s never too early to start prepping for the holiday season. We also know how competitive we can be with our neighbors when it comes to putting up the most awesome Christmas lights. Shawn Schurr has a solution: smart Christmas lights that are programmable and app-operated. You want blue and green lights tonight? Done! You want purple and red lights in an hour? Also done!
Returning to the world of air conditioners, our next inventor was Yuval Fratkin of Israel, who pitched an air conditioner controller that adjusts how much air your AC circulates based on the number of people in the room. Pretty cool when you’re living somewhere hot!
Andrea Zabinski of Green Bay, WI is sick of yelling to her kids and husband within her spacious home, so she thought up an app-enabled home intercom system, which requires no installation. Andrea’s a lucky one, because those of us in NYC can only dream of homes that are big enough for this!
Our next inventor, Carla Holt, pitched an idea that garnered more positive community responses than any we’ve previously seen: a device that syncs your phone with your carbon monoxide and fire detectors to alert you when an incident has occurred. When it comes to saving lives, how can you say no?
Before the night was through, who’d have known that Michael Schlecht would make another appearance? His smart alarm clock syncs with other systems to take the hassle out of setting a physical alarm!
Speaking of alarm clocks, the next invention of the night came from Kyle Sorensen, which pitched a floor mat alarm clock that forces you to get out of bed to shut off your alarm. I guess we’ll miss the days of oversleeping for work, but this will definitely ensure that we don’t miss our next flight!
Our next invention takes us back to the kitchen. Brandon Tidd of Canton, OH wants to be able to scan items as he put them in the refrigerator, creating a real-time list of all available food. Better yet, this app-enabled wonder tells you when your food expires, helps track your budgets, and lets you know when local grocery stores offer coupons on items that you need to purchase.
Moving along to other egg-citing products, the last inventor of the night was Rafael H, who wants to know when he’s out of eggs, garshdonnit! While the Eval crowd was apprehensive at first, a passionate pitch from Ben Kaufman swayed their hearts and minds, rounding out an exciting suite of app-enabled products.
Now, with the initial line-up set, our community and design staff are going to get to work bringing these products to life. The evaluation process is far from over, so keep thinking up incredible app-enabled concepts, and submit them for our next Wink: Instantly Connected Eval that’s taking place on Tuesday, May 21! In the meantime, you can watch the full recording of last night’s event below, or peruse the video segments for winning concepts on our Ustream channel.