Quirky and GE cook up a smarter, prettier air conditioner

Quirky is more than just bendy power strips these days -- recently, it's been pushing its vision of the connected home thanks to a multi-million dollar partnership with GE. So far their deal has yielded stuff like intelligent egg trays (seriously) and clocks, but they're unveiling something much cooler today: the Aros, an 8,000 BTU smart air conditioner. Yes, really.

In typical Quirky fashion, the $300 Aros is about as pretty an air conditioner as you'll find -- it's all white, festooned with touch controls instead of analog buttons, and looks like something Dieter Rams might've cooked up back in the day. Behind that pretty face is a multi-speed fan that can cool a 350-square-foot space, a washable air filter and a cleverly designed air intake system that keeps the Aros from sucking up air it's already cooled. Meanwhile, Quirky's Wink mobile app can turn your Aros on and off based on your location, and it'll track local energy prices in real time to give you an idea of how much cash you can save too.

The concept seems like sort of a no-brainer in this age of connected everythings, but GE Vice President of Technology Kevin Nolan admits the conglomerate probably wouldn't have cooked up the Aros on its own. This is the first truly big-ticket item the unlikely pair has worked on together, but Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman says it's far from the last.

"We're going to have a big year," he told Engadget, adding that the two companies plan to push out new, big, connected gizmos every six to eight weeks.