GE’s First Build is the future of smart home appliances…

Maarten Ectors

Maarten Ectors

on 28 May 2015

First Build is the GE team that is responsible for the Chillhub, the first smart fridge with apps. The Chillhub runs Ubuntu Core and as such any Ubuntu developer can make Snappy Apps for it. This week part of the Canonical IoT team has been visiting First Build’s headquarters in Louisville and they have seen the future of home appliances being delivered today.

What First Build is doing is an example to the industry! The community can suggest ideas of what First Build should work on. However it does not stop there. You can actually help First Build create the next generation of smart products. If you are in Louisville then you can go to their offices, use their tools to make prototypes and help create new products. They have a complete collection from simple power tools to all sorts of 3D printers and even the most advanced industrial tools like the sand cutter pictured below. If you aren’t in Louisville then you can go online and participate in idea generation, voting, prototyping, competitions, crowdfunding  campaigns, etc.

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What First Build will do is build the first several thousand units and learn what the market wants. If a crowdfunding campaign is successful then they will build the products but if it becomes too successful then GE appliances, and shortly Electrolux, will be there to take over. So you can be assured that First Build will never have the “Pebble Smartwatch” problem in which all of a sudden a $100K crowdfunding target becomes a $10M logistical nightmare with the infamous crowdfunding delays in delivering on promises.

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So what will the future look like? Unlike the industry standard, First Build is very open. No NDA’s necessary. You can see for yourself and participate. This is why we think the Ubuntu community should go and check out what the First Build community is doing and team up. GE knows how to ship a million fridges that have a micro-server with Ubuntu Core and free USB slots. What they don’t know yet is what Snappy Apps and peripherals will be successful for a smart fridge, a smart cooker, a smart dishwasher, a smart microwave, a smart anything you can imagine. We will be jointly looking for the IoT Angry Bird for home appliances and you can be part of this. Given that there will be Snappy Stores running on these smart devices, as an IoT entrepreneur you don’t have to worry about how you will make money. What is extremely interesting is that you can be one of the first to explore these new territories. It is like being transported back into time and arriving at the coasts of New York as one of the first immigrants. Imagine the possibilities a company like GE will give you if your Snappy App makes them sell millions more of smart devices. So check out FirstBuild.com and offer your help in making the next generation of home appliances really smart…

 

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