Heptagon’s RF Digital and GE Appliances’ FirstBuild™ Announce Simblee Connected Smart Wine Chiller

Open Innovation Process Combined with Breakthrough Technology Enables Agile Development for IOT Products and Slashes Time-to-Market

GE Appliances’ FirstBuild™ Simblee Connected Smart Wine Chiller App. (Photo: Business Wire)

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--()--RF Digital, (www.simblee.com) a Heptagon company and FirstBuild™, a subsidiary of GE Appliances, a Haier company, today announced FirstBuild’s new Wine Chiller featuring a smart integrated bottle management system, enabled by RF Digital’s Simblee™ connectivity and development ecosystem. The chiller was designed and prototyped through the use of a collaborative open innovation process in conjunction with RF Digital’s team. It incorporates the unique Simblee technology and product development methodology, that facilitates an easy path from rapid prototyping to mass production. The new product will be demonstrated for the first time publicly at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Heptagon’s booth #41354 Jan 5-8, 2017. A product video provides an overview of the chiller’s capabilities for those not able to attend the show.

"FirstBuild’s chiller is an exciting new product for wine enthusiasts and represents a major step forward in functionality," says Dr. Erik Volkerink, Chief Executive Officer of RF Digital and Chief Business Officer of Heptagon. "It is great to see our solution being used to create a compelling product in only a few months rather than years and helping our customers to be more competitive."

"The leading-edge Simblee team has been remarkably responsive," says Sam DuPlessis, FirstBuild Design leader. "We had a few very productive work days with both teams, and everything came together quickly and seamlessly."

The new smart wine chiller exemplifies FirstBuild open collaboration model, which is paramount given ever increasing demand for time-to-market. Simblee is the solution helping companies to leap ahead in their rapidly changing markets. "The FirstBuild iterative innovation model is very timely and compatible with RF Digital’s management methodology and products," says Armen Kazanchian, Founder & President of RF Digital. "Due to competitive pressures, the waterfall approach of customizing cookie-cutter IOT reference designs is rapidly running out of steam: We have solved this problem and enabled agile development for IOT products!"

The Simblee framework consists of an ecosystem of modular foundational blocks, including cloud, mobile apps, sensors, actuators, and wireless subsystems combined with a proprietary operating system that serves as the glue. The Simblee operating system allows developers to focus on actual use cases versus the plethora of internal hardware, software, cloud and mobile client complexities. The framework optimizes reuse while preserving the desired customization, effectively enabling the agile product innovation methodology for IOT products with a seamless path to mass production. In addition, to the wine chiller, Simblee has also successfully been used in five other forward-looking appliance ideas as part of FirstBuild’s Future of Cooking Hackathon.

"The platform enabled us to make multiple rapid refinements of our actual use-case and improving our product," said James Kim, a senior engineer of FirstBuild. "We were up and running with a functional system, including an iOS and Android mobile apps, in just a few days."

"As a passionate wine collector, I always wanted a storage solution which would automatically keep inventory records, making it smart, simple, and more convenient," says L. Srinivasan, GE Appliances E-services manager. “What started as an idea from a wine lover in the GE Appliances community rapidly became a functional design leveraging Simblee, and was being manufactured in FirstBuild’s microfactory in Louisville, KY.”

CES attendees will be able to interact with the chiller and app to see bottles being added and removed from inventory. In the spirit of open innovation and co-creation, FirstBuild will give the CES community the opportunity to provide feedback to refine the product at the booth or through an online survey found here.

About FirstBuild

GE’s 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 RF Digital

RF Digital (www.rfdigital.com) designs and manufactures an extensive line of fully integrated, high quality, high performance, configurable Wireless RF Transmitter, Receiver & Transceiver Modules, suitable for nearly every type of application. For over 17 years RF Digital has supplied the aerospace, public safety, industrial and medical industries with reliable wireless modules, accompanied by excellent support. For more information about Simblee, visit www.simblee.com.

About Heptagon

Heptagon (www.hptg.com) provides complete, simple and seamless 3D imaging, illumination, sensing, and connectivity solutions powering the Interface of Things™ and Mobile Innovation. We enable new and unique ways for people to interact and interface with a smart connected world. With over 2 billion units shipped and 20 years of industry firsts in miniaturizing and integrating complex optical, mechanical, electrical, wireless and software systems, Heptagon has industry leading technology and services to enhance our customer's competitiveness. Backed by world-class investors, Heptagon is a global company with research and development, sales and customer services teams located in Singapore, Switzerland, Silicon Valley and Hermosa Beach USA, Taiwan and China.


Sher Scholer, +1-415-205-5050

Release Summary

Heptagon’s RF Digital and GE Appliances’ FirstBuild™ Announce Simblee Connected Smart Wine Chiller - Open Innovation Process Combined with Breakthrough Technology Enables Agile Development for IOT


Sher Scholer, +1-415-205-5050