GE Unveils Thousands of Patents
Patents: they are the fortress behind which inventors and companies shield their creations. They have been credited with everything from protecting the livelihood of brave inventors to allowing pharmaceutical costs to skyrocket. Now, GE is inviting the entire innovative community into its stronghold, by opening thousands of patents it hopes will soon lead to new gadgets.
This is the first time in the company's history that such an unveiling has occurred. The event is centered around Quirky, an online design community working to develop new projects through collaboration and crowdsourcing.
The two companies are also coming together for the launch of “Wink: Instantly Connected,” a product development platform for products that will be app-enabled and Internet-ready. They expect that with the use of advanced manufacturing tools and 3D printers the products can quickly reach the market, where they can improve health, water and air quality, and security.
For those familiar with GE, this angle shouldn't come as a surprise. It plays right into the company's plan for an Industrial Internet that gathers data via its products from the factory floor all the way to consumers' homes. Ben Kaufman, Quirky founder and CEO, says that “our future will be driven by access to things via our smartphones—there is a ton of invention to be done in this area and no one owns this category.”
“For years patents have been widely misunderstood and misused. We are going to return patents to their original purpose to act as a blueprint for technological and societal progress while protecting inventors and becoming a source of inspiration for future creators,” said Kaufman.
Quirky intends to bring crowdsourcing expertise and a background in rapid product development to the table. GE will begin by opening up its patents for optical systems, dual cooling jets, and barrier coating to the table, along with its experience in commercial aspects of innovation.
Full story at Txchnologist