Inventing for Wink: Unscrambling Egg Minder

Posted ago by Darryl

Last April, Quirky boldly joined hands with GE to build a line of app-enabled products that would launch both companies into the connected home. Wink is the intersection of crazy inventors, tomorrow’s technology, and the unstoppable Quirky product development machine.

We didn’t know what to expect when we opened the site up for submissions, but after reviewing thousands of cat-tracking, motion-sensing, light-switching ideas, we’ve learned a little bit more about how people want to use technology. More importantly, we’ve begun to define what we are looking for in an app-enabled product.

At its core, Wink is about tapping into signals and pockets of information that already exist in your home. Like a good boyfriend, your products should anticipate your wants and needs, perform well and reliably, and remove complexity from your life.

There are two goals of Wink product line:
1) To make products that work better.
2) To make products that think about you.

In this blog series, we’ll use some of the hero products in our Wink line to describe what makes a great Wink idea and why there’s so much potential in this category. We’ll explore what it means to insert WiFi into existing products and why that impacts the overall experience and drives value to the end user.

To start, let’s look at how Egg Minder makes an everyday item work better and smarter. This is the essence of Wink and the type of inventive leap that we seek out in your idea submissions.

Egg Minder

There are people that eat out of the Chinese takeout box, and there are others who serve on a real plate. We’re not trying to make the egg carton obsolete, but we do want to show how greater utility can be achieved when your products start thinking about you.

A traditional egg tray has a single purpose– to keep your round eggs from rolling around on a flat surface. Without changing the way you would interact with the egg tray, we’re treating each new egg as a signal. Egg in, egg out. Information about which eggs are oldest and how many eggs are nesting may not solve sleuth mysteries, but it will change the way you think about and interact with product.

People love eggs and in a very basic way, knowing how many eggs you have offers piece of mind. On a larger scale, this familiarity makes Egg Minder a beautiful way to introduce app-enabled products to the masses. It works better than a traditional egg tray by taking a simple input and creating a piece of useful information. It only takes one invention to show that passive technology mixed with the Internet will allow people to do more with less effort.

The egg is a symbol of new life. It’s packed with protein and nutrients so that a baby chick can hatch or a wilderness explorer can eat breakfast. Egg Minder is our freshest egg and we’re excited to see how our Wink product line will continue to grow. Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue to look at trends that we’ve seen in submissions and use our upcoming products as guides to future inventing.

Coming up…

What’s Too Simple? On/Off’s and Remote Access
Products that Work Better Together

Comments (14)

Ernesto Tan
G Daffron
Hmm, I may utilize this happily...
Elizabeth Wingfield
Darryl, you are an insightful writer! Have you ever had duck eggs? Bigger yolks. A client has a flock and we eat them for lunch at his house.
instructables have already started to get IMP submissions the garage door opener is one good example for those unaware of the technology check this out it might be easy to understand?
The Cash Rhino
Is quirky going to have a separate app for each Wink product? I would hope not. As a smartphone user I hate a cluttered phone with too many apps. Quirky should have a app called Wink where I can access all my wink products. So I can lot into Wink and at one time see how many eggs, close my garage door, and start coffee for me at the same time when Im leaving my house to get some more eggs. 1 app is better than 3 apps.
Michael Cavada
"Like a good boyfriend, your products should anticipate your wants and needs, perform well and reliably, and remove complexity from your life." ... Are you referring to a male anatomically correct android? ;-)
Like a Good Neighbor, Egg Minder is there! :)
I just went to a local farm on the weekend and paid big bucks for a dozen eggs layed by some exotic chickens - they are light blue in colour (very pretty!) and have large yolks. It made me realize that there are other crazy people out there that spend a fair chunk on organic, omega 3 etc. eggs and so this product would be ideal for them.
Call me crazy, but I do spend 3-4$ on a dozen of free-range or cage free eggs.. I also prefer to buy oraganic. When you buy organic eggs the grains fed to the hens must be produced on land that has been free from the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers for at least three years. Also they don't give the hens hormones or allow GMO in the grains they eat. I realize that buying locally from a trusted farmer would be a great way to go on this, it is on my to do list:)
When I was a child, and I visited my grandparents farm, they would put me in charge of fetching the eggs from the chicken coop. I would carefully slide my hand under the hen with my heart beating out of my chest, fearing I would get a good pecking! There was one particular deranged rooster that would chase after anyone in his path, they had a name for him but I can't recall what it was. I was always relieved when he was out of sight. Good times:) They didn't sell any eggs or livestock from this farm, but did from a previous ranch. If my grandparents were alive today, I wonder what they would think of this product? I do remember seeing an app enabled livestock tracker, that may be a useful one for ranchers.
I agree with Ryan, ay some point, Quirky needs to come up with one app that will access all of Quirky's Wink products. No need to go in and out of apps to run the house. Now we are thinking about the house again!
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