A bad year just got worse for Quirky. The crowdsourced design company just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Quirky will also sell assets related to Wink, its home automation hub, to a company called Flextronics. This is a bummer.
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I recently took my first vacation in two years. It was fun! But I was excited to get home, raise my shades and relax in the finicky but sort of useful smart home I'd spent the past few months building. When I walked in the door, all of the automation was gone. The light on my Wink hub was yellow. This was not fun.
Video: Man, watching these sweaters dance made me laugh hard. I confess I'm a sucker for quirky humour and these ads — for this year's Gap gift guide — are without a doubt the quirkiest I've seen in a long while.
Quirky, the company that helps turn crazy inventions into things you can actually buy, has announced seven new gizmos to help raise the IQ of your home. They include inexpensive devices that detect moisture levels or energy consumption, but also one product — a smart thermostat — aimed at giving smart home leaders like Nest some quality competition.
Quirky's approach of bringing user-submitted inventions to life pre-dates Kickstarter by quite a few years. And the company's track record at successfully producing these often highly original creations means you can actually get excited about a wafflemaker that lets you create custom pixelated images every morning. What a time to be alive.
When it introduced its ultra affordable hub a few months ago, Wink signalled that it wanted to win the smart home wars. Now, with the release of a touchscreen display and control pad called Relay, it's clear that the Quirky off-shoot is in a hurry too. It's not like the home of the future is going to build itself!
Smart homes sound awesome. The idea sounded awesome 15 years ago, when Microsoft teased some of its ideas in a concept video, and it sounded awesome when Apple announced HomeKit last month. But do you know anybody that actually lives in a smart home and reaps all that awesomeness? Probably not. And Quirky wants to change that.
If you live in an apartment in a big city, and you've managed to find a little room on your tiny balcony for a modest garden, you probably don't have much space left for the tools needed to toil over your cramped crops. So inventor Marc R. came up with this rather clever soft-sided watering can called the Squish that's thin and easy to store when it's empty.
What happens when a Fortune 500-ranked, 120-year-old company like GE partners with a four-year-old startup like Quirky? Today, six months after announcing a partnership, the companies launched their first co-branded products.
You might think the cheap plastic rake you grabbed at the hardware store is more than adequate given you really only use it for about one month out of the year. But that's only because you haven't been introduced to Quirky's wonderful new Rake 'n' Tamp, which not only wrangles leaves, it also tamps them down so you can squeeze as much as possible into every bag.
At one point or another, who of us hasn't risked losing a finger by opening a pair of scissors and using them as a quick, impromptu knife? It turns out they're a pretty good way to open taped boxes without horribly slicing what's inside, so Quirky took the idea and created a pair of scissors called the Sheath that's actually safe to use as an improvised knife.
Quirky might be the world leader in developing crazy kitchen contraptions, but the company that helps turn regular people's ideas into actual products focuses on other markets too. Such as educational toys that kids will actually want to play with, like the Sound Track: a brilliant mashup of a music box and a toy train that has kids playing composer and conductor.