General Electric and Quirky have produced its first product, the Aros in-room air conditioner. It can sense when someone has left the room or comes back into the space. This smart air conditioner also keeps track of energy usage, which is an important feature for consumers who want to keep a close eye on the family budget. The Aros was developed by Quirky, a crowd-source site where people input ideas. GE invested a massive amount of funding into Quirky in 2013.
This in-wall air conditioner is designed for people living in apartments. The 8,000 BTU unit looks similar to a standard window air conditioner. They are very common in any city or town once the temperature starts to rise. The difference in these air conditioners, which will be available to consumers at $300.00 each, is entirely on the inside and how they are controlled.
Aros: The Smart Air Conditioner
Aros connects via Wi-Fi to the home’s network. Along with having an On/Off switch, it is controlled with the Wink app for Android and iOS. The unit’s front is outfitted with a screen control panel. The app is considered the heart of this device. With it, a user does not have to make decisions about whether the unit should be left on when he or she is not at home. Instead, the app tracks the amount of energy the AC uses, it learns the home’s normal usage patterns so that it knows when it should operate and will turn itself on when the smartphone is a certain distance from the home.
To perform this function, the app accesses the smartphone’s GPS location service. The unit can be set to turn off automatically once the phone leaves the area. It will turn on when the app senses that the person is close to home again. Since it can keep track of the energy being used, the app can offer suggestions about the most energy-efficient times to run it based on the owner’s schedule. Basic features for the Aros air conditioner include three cooling modes, as well as three fan speeds. It’s also equipped with two retractable screens to fit squarely into the window.