Thursday, March 7, 2013

Robocat's Kickstarter campaign for Thermodo

Robocat, maker of the three iOS weather apps Haze, Outside, and Thermo, had launched a Kickstarter campaign for Thermodo, a physical thermometer that integrates with the iPhone.
While a thermometer for iOS sounds pretty clever, I believe it has some hurdles to jump in addition to getting funded. Thermodo is a tiny dongle that hangs on your keychain and plugs into the iPhone’s headphone jack.

The Kickstarter page states:

"Simply plug Thermodo into your device and start the companion app or any other Thermodo enabled apps of your choice. The temperature reading takes place instantly. Thermodo is powered by your device. No external power is required, it can even run in the background while you do important stuff."

With Robocat's own weather apps and the many other competing apps, why make Thermodo?

The Kickstarter page states:

“The reason we made this hardware actually came from the users,” Robocat told Cult of Mac. “We often got 1-star reviews from users that complain that the temperature data is incorrect or that Thermo doesn’t work indoors. So we are trying to solve this issue with a hardware module. With Thermodo they will get accurate temperature readings from where they are. It’s also just really exciting to work with hardware that can communicate with the mobile devices in a creative way.”

The software is where the magic will really happen for Thermodo. You’ll be able to quickly measure the temperature indoors and outdoors. The dongle will let you track the temperature and see how it rises and falls throughout the day. No network connection is required.

Thermodo will work with Haze and Thermo, and Robotcat will have a SDK available for developers to add support for their weather apps. The idea is that you will have a miniature weather station with you at all times.

My concern is that you will have conflicting temperatures to deal with. Let's say it is 15 degrees outside here in Detroit, but I am in my car with the temperature set at 75 degrees. What is the temperature that I want my phone to report? The external or internal temperature? I contend that you will vary on this, but the man thing is both. My biggest issue is just why? Why do I want to know the exact temperature of my immediate environment? Why would the majority of people want to know this? I am quite sure there are many specialized professions and individuals that will require this, but are there enough to justify this product? Time will tell.
Here is Robocat's Kickstarter page.

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