- FirstBuild introduces the first product from its online community
- GE Appliances FirstBuild, an online community and microfactory in Louisville, launches its first product that delivers cool, fresh water every time you open the fridge
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — September 18, 2014 —The Autofill Pitcher solves a small but annoying problem that bedevils households across America: How do you keep your water pitcher filled and your water cold? FirstBuild, GE Appliances’ online community and microfactory in Louisville, erases the frustration with a pitcher that senses water level and automatically refills itself.
The product, which holds about 10 cups of water or 80 fluid ounces, eliminates the refill step. Imagine opening the refrigerator door to find a constantly full pitcher of ice-cold water ready to drink. That’s exactly what Autofill Pitcher owners will enjoy.
The Autofill Pitcher is a do-it-yourself upgrade to the refrigerator. The kit used to assemble the Autofill Pitcher will include:
- A pitcher
- A water valve
- A water line
- Water line connections
- All other components required to install*
The Autofill Pitcher fits in one of GE Appliances’s most popular refrigerators, the GTH18GC, an 18-cubic-foot model that’s already in millions of homes, with the possibility of expanding the kit to fit more GE refrigerators. Feedback from the FirstBuild community holds the key to future Autofill Pitcher expansion.
In fact, feedback and idea sharing are at the heart of FirstBuild. The goal is to have a thriving, online community as the backbone for new product introduction. And, FirstBuild online community members can earn royalties based on a successful idea.
“FirstBuild has beauty, brains and brawn,” said Taylor Dawson, GE Appliances product manager who signed on with FirstBuild. “The beauty behind FirstBuild is that products get to the market faster to satisfy consumer needs. The brains are the community of engineers, makers, and do-it-yourselfers who have a chance to communicate their ideas and possibly get compensated. The brawn of FirstBuild lies in the talent and earnest of the FirstBuild team.”
Autofill Pitcher kits will be available mid-September on FirstBuild.com with a suggested retail price of $99.** Future iterations of the Autofill Pitcher could dispense filtered water pending community feedback.
It’s not magic, just good engineering
The pitcher is equipped with two magnets. The first tells a magnetic switch in the fridge whether the pitcher is in the designated space for refilling. When the switch closes, the fridge begins to fill the pitcher with water until a second, floating magnet reaches the top and closes a second switch, which stops the water.
FirstBuild is a global co-creation community backed by GE Appliances, a Haier company that harnesses the brainpower of the maker movement to change the way major home appliances are conceived, designed and manufactured. A physical state-of-the-art microfactory on the University of Louisville campus and online forum, FirstBuild speeds products from mind to market and enables customization through small batch production, without the costs and risks of traditional mass manufacturing. For more information about how to get involved, visit FirstBuild.com.
About GE Appliances
GE Appliances, a Haier company, makes moments that matter for our owners through our passion for making great appliances and providing unparalleled services. Owners have more choices than ever before under the Hotpoint, GE®, Haier, GE Café™, GE Profile™ and Monogram® brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and water filtration systems. For more information visit www.geappliances.com/our-company.
* Assembly will require a ¼-inch drill bit and a 1-inch hole saw.
**Retailers set their own price.