General Electric (GE) recently announced it is in an agreement to sell its home appliances business to Swedish white-goods group Electrolux for $3.3 billion.
It’s hard to imagine GE, a household name for more than a century, leaving the consumer appliance industry.
This deal is a major shake-up in the home appliance industry, pairing the second- and third-largest companies in the industry.
Under the deal, GE has a long-term agreement with Electrolux to keep using the GE Appliances brand alongside its own Frigidaire brand in an attempt to leverage the company’s long history.
Although the boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, it is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is due to close next year.
Electrolux said the acquisition, the single biggest deal it has made, represented “an attractive strategic fit” for its operations in North America, expected to generate “significant synergies” particularly in procurement and day-to-day running of the combined business.
GE has sold devices to people for its entire 122-year history, starting with the light bulb, which was invented by company founder Thomas Edison. The lighting division will stay, but it’s just a tiny part of GE. Now GE will sell its products almost exclusively to other companies.
GE is the only remaining member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, first calculated in 1896. But, GE has frustrated shareholders by underperforming both the Dow and broader stock indexes for much of the last decade.
There was no mention of what would happen to FirstBuild which is a partnership between GE Appliances and Local Motors to create a new model for the appliance industry and manufacture those designs in its Microfactory.
My trip to the Monogram Experience Center last October. Being able to cook on the appliances is an incredible educational tool and meeting designers and dealers from around the country was very insightful.
Each year Electrolux challenges design students all over the world to create a concept that is relevant to the time and raises questions about what design will be like in the future. Established in 2003, Electrolux Design Lab is a global design competition that is focused around themes such as healthy eating, sustainable living and internet generation. This year’s theme calls for Creating Healthy Homes under three focus areas; Culinary Enjoyment, Fabric Care and Air Purifying.
Electrolux awards four prizes: 1st place is 5,000 Euros and a 6-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center. A 2nd prize of 3,000 Euros, 3rd prize of 2,000 Euros and People’s Choice prize for 1,000 Euros are also on offer.
The competition received over 1,700 submissions from over 60 countries is now entering the second stage of the competition with 70 submissions moving forward. At this stage, contestants are asked to deliver rendered CAD-files of their concepts with a logo, contextual images and design details.
Starting tomorrow through June 28, the public can vote online for their favorite concept. The three most popular submissions in the public voting will make it directly to the next round.
You may vote for one concept only once, but you can vote for different concepts so it is ok to support more than one contestant and idea.
Tree of Life
Replacing the refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and even the cook, the Tree of Life (TOL) is the brainchild of Bulgarian designer Zahari Ganchev.
Based on the shapes of a Beobab tree and a Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, the biomorphic Tree of Life stores your food in its trunk and cooks meals on its mushroom caps. Individual ingredients are drawn from their refrigerated, organic polymer pouches when you order up a dish. Lasers (lasers!) cut and clean the food before the appliance deposits them on ceramic-coated stainless steel plates and cooks them for you. Your nutritional intake is monitored every meal, and replacing your plate tells the cooking lasers (more lasers!) to clean it for you.
The Halo Fuse is a rotating induction cooktop with the freedom of cooking anywhere on the surface and is designed to be located on an island work surface. This concept was submitted by Ryan Gardner, a senior industrial design student at Kendall College of Art and Design.
Special pans with detachable handles are used with this concept so large meals with multiple pans can be easily accommodated. Temperature settings are selected through sliding electronic controls within the pot handle. The pans synch with the cooking surface so if you need to reposition it the same settings are kept.
Fortunately, there is also a touch screen interface located to the side of the cooktop to show the location and setting of each pan. This could be very handy for multiple chefs.
Intended for bathroom use, the PureTowel replaces your standard towel hook with a Smart Hanger that can disinfect your towel in seconds with UV light. This clever concept comes from Leobardo Armenta, a 3rd year Industrial design student at Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.
Simply hang your used towel on the Smart Hanger and the vertical motion of the UV ring will start, leaving your towel dry and clean.
The towel is dried by a silent, high-speed fan located inside the ring and the UV light has sensors so human contact is avoided.
This concept is great for families concerned about allergies and passing germs that thrive on damp towels.