At CES in Las Vegas we experienced the internet of appliances. We spoke with Whirlpool who have app connected fridges, ovens, stoves, washing machines and now… a compost bin.
The story behind the compost bin by Whirlpool represents a real shift into how a new product is introduced into the market and also a sign of where society is today.
Named the Zera, the compost bin from Whirlpool was not a product that was thought of in-house, mass produced and put on the market. The Zera actually started its life on Indiegogo, the crowd funding website. This is normally how a start-up would do a new product introduction in order to gain market measures and generating capital to fund the manufacturing process. Very unlike Whirlpool to need to do this but it is how they are testing the market for products that come out of W Labs. W Labs is their test bed, ideas hub, business within a business. It is a great place for ideas to incubate and grow.
That’s the first part of Whirlpools approach that is completely unlike you’d expect.
The second part is the product itself, The Zera is something unlike we have seen before. It is an indoor appliance to make compost from your food scraps. The Zero looks very nice, takes most common left overs from breakfast, lunch and dinner and can provide you with a large tub of beautiful compost in 24 hours. On the inside is an auger that takes your bits and pieces and with a provided additive from Whirlpool makes it all happen. This product 100% represents how society has changed for the better in 2017, we are keen to recycle, we are keen to even compost, but it needs to be convenient and without a big smelly bin outside.
The Zera is a really impressive looking product, we even looked at the compost produced and it was more like a soil at the end, perfect for the garden. We were so impressed with the Zera that we awarded Whirlpool for the EFTM Best Appliance of CES award.