GE Eggminder: could this simple product build IoT awareness?

Posted on 17th July 2013 in home automation, Internet of Things

As someone who spends much of his time introducing the Internet of Things to people who’ve never heard of it, much less thought about how it might improve their lives, I think there might be something to the logic of this Fast Company article about the GE Eggminder.

The article points out that the IoT still provokes blank stares from most people, a fact that those of us who are immersed in it every day may tend to forget. As the subhead said, “EGG MINDER MIGHT BE DUMB PRODUCT DESIGN, BUT AS A PIECE OF MASS COMMUNICATION ABOUT WEB-CONNECTED PRODUCTS, IT JUST MIGHT BE GENIUS.”

GE Eggminder

The Eggminder doesn’t do much — tells you, via the app, how many eggs you have left in your fridge, but it’s the kind of simple-to-understand example of the kinds of connectivity possible through the IoT that is likely to make a lot of people say “Now I get it!”

It’s not life-changing, as the article points out, and maybe even dumb: “(How dumb? To quote Quirky’s own product evaluation video, ‘it’s a pain in the ass,’ ‘superfluous,’ ‘really silly,’ and ‘the height of laziness.’).  BTW: am I right in guessing that this might have been one of the award winners in the contest that GE, Quirky and Electric Imp held to find fast-to-market IoT products. which I praised as an example of the kind of collaboration it will take to capitalize on the IoT?

My personal favorites in terms of IoT products that are easy to understand are the SmartSlippers that can alert a caregiver when a frail senior is likely to fall, or the onesie that alerts parents that their baby has stopped breathing — in time to avoid SIDS. But you get the point: until people see something that could simplify their life — or save it, they may not understand exactly how revolutionary the IoT is.

So let’s have more Eggminders — simple products that will result in more “aha moments” — and speed public adoption of the IoT!

GE Eggminder">Stephenson blogs on Internet of Things Internet of Things strategy, breakthroughs and management