Quirky.com is a new approach to the usual invention, design and manufacturing cycle.
Using the latest social media and crowd sourcing methods to decide what products get built, Quirky.com accepts product submissions from designers, puts the concepts up to a vote by website visitors, and then in an online meeting the Quirky.com staff decides what products to develop.
Ideas range from smart home products, kitchen gadgets (LOTS of kitchen gadgets) to electronics, household items, fitness products and travel & adventure gear. You can follow the entire process of a product from conception to launch, and contribute votes & comments all along the way.
Some of the Quirky.com products in the smart home category that caught our eye:
Porkfolio – Smart piggy bank
How cute is this little guy? Porkfolio is not your typical piggybank. He is laying on his back and you put the coins into his tummy! A WiFi enable piggy bank & smartphone app combo counts the change inserted and even has a motion sensor to alert the owner if it starts to “wander off”. Porkfolio takes 2 AA batteries, so we might put in a request on Quirky for a ZigBee version that will never need to have the batteries changed.
“Finally, a pig gets the intellectual respect it deserves. This one syncs with an app that allows you to check your balance and set goals. It’s a full-on financial institution!”
Eggminder – Smart Egg Tray
How old are your eggs? The basic idea is to let you know how many good eggs you have left in both egg count and age. This is one of those ideas that seems silly at first, and then you realize this is a preview of the kitchen of the future.
Egg Minder wirelessly connects to your mobile device to track the number of eggs you have and tell you when they’re going bad. In-tray LED lights indicate the oldest egg, while push notifications alert you when you’re running low. Check Egg Minder while at the store; you’ll never be in a scramble for a good egg again.