GE’s FirstBuild Partners with Upverter for Circuit Board Design Challenge

FirstBuild, GE Appliances’ global co-creation community, has partnered with Toronto’s Upverter to announce the Circuit Board Design Challenge to drive the future of home appliances.

The challenge is targeted toward hardware engineers and hobbyists who have a vision for how appliance of the future should interact with the Internet of Things (IoT) community.

Participants will use the web-based Upverter circuit design platform to collaborate and submit entries.

“Visionaries like FirstBuild are gaining an early advantage in the Internet of Things by drawing on communities brimming with innovation like Upverter,” said Adam Gravitis, Upverter’s Vice-President of Engineering. “A huge idea pool is the only way to keep pace in this market.”

Upverter was selected for the Techvibes 20 in April 2014 and later in the year was named one of PwC’s Top 10 Up-and-Coming Technology Companies.

FirstBuild’s community has generated hundreds of great ideas waiting to be prototyped. In order to quickly build and evaluate these ideas, a variety of hardware devices from the maker community are often utilized. The available sensors, microcontrollers, single board computers and expansion boards go a long way towards building fast prototypes, but custom circuit boards are still created often so prototypes can interface with existing or new home appliances.

The partnership shares a vision for a more complete plug and play hardware platform targeted for home appliances so the maker community can evaluate ideas even faster. The Green Bean, which provides a USB bridge to many existing GE Appliances was launched by FirstBuild in September 2014, is a start, but this collaboration hopes to expand the toolbox of hardware for developing new home appliance concepts even more. The Circuit Board Design Challenge is that next step.

The challenge is accepting entries until January 31, 2015.