A Quirky Idea: Turning Patents Into Consumer Products

In April 2013, GE and Quirky announced a partnership that introduces a whole new way of inventing. We teamed up with Quirky, the social product development company, to give everyday inventors access to GE’s patents to inspire new inventions. To push innovation to the next level, we believe other inventors—like those within the Quirky community—have the ability to unlock the power of our lab-proven technologies to create consumer products.

While it is our mission to come up with great ideas that translate into game-changing technology, partnering with start-ups and entrepreneurs helps us to embrace new ways of thinking and accelerate invention. But with over 2,522 patents filed this past year, not every idea will find a home in our own technology portfolio.

We’ve made thousands of patents available for the Quirky community to leverage as part of their Inspiration Platform. Below are a few of the technologies we’ve shared to inspire new inventions and we’re excited to see what the Quirky community will do.

GE’s Dual Cool Jet

Long used as a way to improve jet propulsion, DCJ, which generates a burst of air that mimics a bellows or someone’s breathing pattern, is now being explored for electronics cooling and many other potential applications.

Optical systems, including holographic and fast-focusing lens technologies 

GE’s holographic storage technology can be used for archiving large amounts of data and fast-focusing optics technology enables rapid, high-resolution 2D image capture of 3D images, currently applicable to markets ranging from contactless fingerprinting, to semiconductor quality control and medical optics.

Barrier coatings

GE’s ultra-high barrier technology enables thinner, lighter electronic devices including smartphones, televisions and solar panels by using thin film encapsulation to protect electronic devices from degradation by moisture and oxygen.

Telematics and asset tracking technology

Modules used for commercial fleet tracking and vehicle navigation systems, which are used to monitor the location, movement and behavior of a vehicle or fleet of vehicles.