Bringing new Internet-connected devices to the masses just got easier thanks to a new partnership between Electric Imp and the inventor community Quirky.
Electric Imp will act as the cloud-connected backbone for Wink: Instantly Connected, a line of products created through Quirky’s new partnership with GE, allowing new products to talk to the Internet, third party data services, mobile devices, and one another.
“Electric Imp and Quirky share a vision of democratizing invention, giving innovators of any technical level the same kind of tools that huge corporations can,” Electric Imp co-founder Kevin Fox told Wired.
Electric Imp is the maker of the Imp card, a SIM-like wafer of plastic that houses an M3 processor and WiFi antenna. The card can be installed in any electronic device, making just about anything internet connected in a snap. If you tried to create your own WiFi connected solution for a product, Fox said the process, which includes writing custom firmware, a wireless client to communicate with servers, and a backend for managing these communications, would take about a year. This relationship between Electric Imp and Quirky will be ongoing and collaborative, Fox said. Electric Imp will be involved in the vetting process for what products will be created from this program. Products created through the Quirky and GE partnership will be on the market by holiday 2013, in stores such as Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon. (via Quirky Partnership Democratizes the Invention of Internet-Connected Devices | Gadget Lab | Wired.com)
Wow – I can see both good and bad implications for this one.