Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the light bulb and camera, but what would he think of 3-D printers?
To celebrate his birthday and the 32nd anniversary of National Inventors' Day in the U.S., General Electric is selling boxes of tech-savvy tools for $32 each today on e-commerce platform Quarterly. Three hundred boxes will be sold, and each one includes eight gadgets and inventions like touchscreen gloves, an electronics kit and all-natural cubes of coffee sweeteners. A few random boxes also include a Makerbot 3-D printer and two products made by Quirky.
GE first began selling branded products last summer with moon boots designed by Android Homme and decided to do something similar to promote another holiday that ties into the brand's history.
"For the 'Moon Boots' campaign, we experimented with leveraging commerce as content. We were telling a new story in a new way to reinforce the impact advanced materials can have on design at both a consumer and industrial level," said Sydney Lestrud, manager of global digital and social media marketing at GE.
"In that same way, we're hoping to bring the power and inspiration of invention to a new audience through a product—or in this case a set of products—that people can actually take home."
GE and social media agency VaynerMedia will be promoting the e-commerce box and Inventors' Day across the brand's social media channels today, and social media star Jerome Jarre also took over GE's Snapchat account during Sunday's Grammy Awards to plug Inventors' Day.
According to Lestrud, the goal of the campaign is to get people playing with technology they may not be familiar with. "We're hoping to inspire users to experiment with technology like coding, cloud-based software, and industrial design on their own so that they can understand the power of invention and create the next brilliant idea themselves," she said.