One of my wife and I’s inside jokes is the reason we fell in love was our mutual dislike of mushrooms. When we first met, we both thought most forms of fungi that crossed our plates were gross. A few gray hairs (on my head, not hers) and years of marriage later, we can both be adult enough nowadays to eat the occasional mushroom when offered, even if we both would still prefer to hold the mold.
That said, I have come to marvel at the power of fungi in recent years and am all for people (except me) eating more mushrooms, so I was excited when I saw that FirstBuild is working on taking its mushroom fruiting chamber from prototype to product.
You can catch a glimpse of the new Mella Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber in action below in the video from FirstBuild.
With sensors for humidity and temperature monitoring, the ability to monitor the mushrooms via a web dashboard and email alerts, closed-loop humidity control with a small refillable water basin, and air filter with duel inlet fans, the appliance has all the bells and whistles to help the aspiring fungiculurist create a high-tech fruiting chamber on their kitchen countertop. Plus it looks cool. The fruiting chamber is surrounded by glass, which lets you check out the your growing fungi.
So why is FirstBuild creating a mushroom growing appliance? The main reason is probably because weird and interesting new appliance concepts are largely the reason the organization exists. FirstBuild, which became somewhat well known with product concepts like its precision cooking Paragon cooktop and Opal ice maker, essentially acts as a product innovation engine for GE Appliances. The group crowdsources new ideas, builds prototypes, and occasionally -- like with the Opal -- will take the prototypes to full production.
FirstBuild has a microfactory that can do small batch manufacturing, so oftentimes the group will make small one-off manufacturing runs of products like the Forge clear ice system. Other times, the product never gets out of prototype, like it looks like happened with the Arden in-home smoker (bummer) or the Saucemaster 3000.
The move into a grow system for mushrooms isn’t the only sign that FirstBuild has become home-grow curious since earlier this year the company prototyped a smart garden system. It’s also possibly a sign the innovation group is following its parent company’s lead in exploring home grow systems as part of a broader home appliance offering.
If you want to get in on the mushrooom farming fun, stay tuned. FirstBuild says the campaign (which we presume will be on Indieogo) is coming soon.