Haier, one of the world’s largest consumer durables company, has hired a Bengaluru-based startup, Ideapoke, to help develop a technology that would enable refrigerators to detect pesticides and harmful bacteria in fruits and vegetables using sensors, a company official said.


“These would be mainly gas sensors to detect pesticides and bacteria in the food,” said Sanjay Sahoo, cofounder of Ideapoke. “We are the Google for technology information. Our vision is to democratize innovation and provide it as a service through our platform.”

The Chinese company, headquartered in Qingdao, clocked a global turnover of 200.7 billion yuan ($31 billion) in 2014 has joined hands with Ideapoke through its innovation platform called Haier Open Partnership Ecosystem (Hope).

The association with Haier will empower innovations in the consumer electronics segment by offering Internet of Things (IoT) — a technology where devices communicate with each other “Given Ideapoke’s technology wise listing of data and numberintelligently. of partners associated with them, it was a case of clear benefit to help us enlarge our technology resource network,” said Nick Huang, online business director at Hope, the innovation platform of Haier. “Their speed of technology and delivery cycles are rapid.”

Haier is working with Ideapoke to develop over 10 innovations. Some of these include low-cost dry storage space, humidity detection and display modules for refrigerators. Other innovations include detecting foreign objects from the consumer’s trouser pockets before washing the clothes in the washing machine and also identifying the exact amount of detergent required.

Ideapoke helps organizations to search and collaborate with technology partners across the globe to solve their research and development challenges.

Founded by two friends and engineers Anup Sahoo and Sanjay Sahoo, Ideapoke counts consumer goods companies such as Electrolux, Godrej and Unilever among its top customers.

The firm uses big data analytics and matching algorithms to crowdsource technology partners It lists aacross the globe and collaborate with the best solution providers. database of over 980,000 technologies and 76,000 companies across the globe doing research and development in different areas. It also works with over 1900 universities globally.

Ideapoke, which competes with U.S.-based companies like NineSigma and InnoCentive, aims to provide over a million technology innovation listings by next year.