ChillHub is a refrigerator with two integrated USB hubs (eight USB ports in total), built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and an open-source iOS-compatible app that provides seamless integration with the refrigerator by allowing access to sensor data and control of fridge components. This first-of-its-kind platform enables the development of new hardware products that benefit from operating inside a cooled space.
Developed by FirstBuild community members Brian Wagner and Nicolas Grenié, ChillHub is an open development platform designed for makers, hackers, tinkerers and developers. Through rapid design iteration by 3D printing on MakerBot and other 3D printers, community members collaborate on products and features to customize and create new uses for their refrigerators.
The first ChillHub accessory, Milky Weigh, was conceptualized by Nolan McQueen, a member of the FirstBuild community. Milky Weigh is a mobile milk jug monitoring system which provides real-time updates on the status of how much milk you have left. Milky Weigh is available for sale on FirstBuild.com. In addition, FirstBuild has also posted Milky Weigh components on Thingiverse, so consumers with a MakerBot or other 3D printer can print and assemble their own device.
FirstBuild.com is a physical and online community dedicated to designing, engineering and building the next generation of major appliances. It fosters co-creation among engineers, designers, makers and home enthusiasts around the globe who can participate in the development of appliance breakthroughs to address current challenges, and ensure that it is bringing products to market that people actually want. Community members identify market needs, participate in product development and watch via social media as ideas speed from mind to market in only a matter of months at the FirstBuild Microfactory in Louisville, Ky.
“When the FirstBuild community started, in May 2014, community members were submitting ideas for new applications for home appliances. It quickly became apparent that there was a lot of interest in new refrigerator features that require power, internet connectivity and the ability to communicate by sending commands and receiving information,” said Myles Caley, FirstBuild Software Community Manager. “ChillHub is the answer to these requests, designed by the community, for the community.”
“In a sense, FirstBuild is building the infrastructure for building a smart home. ChillHub itself is the infrastructure to be able to connect devices inside your refrigerator to be visualized on your smartphone and the internet. It’s a platform of possibility,” says Brian Wagner, one of ChillHub’s lead contributors.
ChillHub, a 27.7 cubic foot French door ice and water refrigerator, will retail for $2,999 and can be ordered through FirstBuild.com in black, white, Slate and stainless steel.
FirstBuild is a new model for designing, building and bringing home appliances to market. A partnership between GE Appliances and Local Motors, FirstBuild brings together an open community of industrial designers, engineers and other innovative minds to collaborate on new product designs that are rapidly brought to life at the FirstBuild Microfactory. For more information on how to get involved, visit www.FirstBuild.com.
MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys <http://www.stratasys.com/> Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), is leading the Next Industrial Revolution by setting the standards in reliable and affordable desktop 3D printing. Founded in 2009, MakerBot has built the largest installed base of desktop 3D printers sold to innovative and industry-leading customers worldwide, including engineers, architects, designers, educators and consumers. To learn more about MakerBot, visit makerbot.com <http://www.makerbot.com/>.