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SmartLid: digital tools for an analog world

Tim Gilbert

Thanks to everyone who sent us feedback on the SmartLid concept. You might note that the above rendering has changed a bit. However, the basic spec's haven't:
  • Temperature range: 32F - 120F
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.5 F
  • Fahrenheit or Celsius display
  • Elapsed time to 24 hours (for people doing really crazy stand development.)
  • Battery powered
  • Water resistant keypad
  • Average temperature function
  • User calibration function
Note the buttons aren't labeled since we're still working out the details. We need to get the display right the first time; changing it later is expensive. Same for the keypad.
Regarding those details, several suggestions were common enough that they got our attention:
  1. Add an agitation timer. Sounds good (that's the AP on the display: Agitation Period.) We'll even make it user selectable for 30 or 60 seconds.
  2. Include a beeper with that agitation timer. Okay, considered it added. And yes, we'll include a mute option.
  3. Backlight: we can see that a backlight might be useful. However, they either drain the battery quickly or are very expensive. Maybe if we find room for a AAA battery...
  4. Low Battery indicator: of course, how'd we miss that!
Several people suggested including numerous timers: Dev1, Dev2, Stop, Fix etc. Frankly, our experience in designing aviation chronographs found that pilots don't generally use multiple timers, (they find it takes more effort than it's worth.) However, a presetable countdown timer with an alarm might be a good idea.
A couple of readers suggested a Bluetooth interface to link to their phone. Sounds great but then we'd have to support an Android app and probably an Apple app... so no, isn't going happen. Maybe later, but not in the first release.
We are seriously evaluating the "Temperature Compensation Function". We just wonder how many people would really use it, compared to how much it would complicate the software development. After all, given the average temperature, you can calculate the time adjustment from the standard tables.
Frankly, the biggest issue is how to modify the existing lid. We can either make a new mold, (big money) or jig up and machine the existing lids to accept the digital insert.
Obviously, we haven't made any final decisions. Everything is subject to revision and your feedback is important. You can post in the comments below or send your comments/suggestions to

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