Not directly related to M2M – but the story below points to how using off the shelf technology you can cause a change to the way things were done in the old days. In the story below the author uses a device that combines a – temperature sensor, Wireless Transmitter and LCD display to help to simplify the task of cooking meat. In the past you cooked the food and kept checking on it (M2M – monitor every X minutes) and then when you though it was done you plop it on the plate and have your meal. Now you can enjoy the same meal – but free your self up from the constant checking to see if the meat is cooked by using the Wireless Thermometer and its attached alerting belt clip ( Monitor and notify the user of when a condition is satisfied – meat is cooked
Technology has taken its stab at the big problems plaguing the human condition.
From disease to space travel to dirty dishes, great minds have devised relief that has ennobled us and eased our pain.
What remains for contemporary inventors are often less ambitious solutions to the more mundane annoyances of modern living.
Take, for example, the Grill Alert Talking Remote Thermometer from Brookstone ($75 U.S., www.brookstone.com).
The high-tech barbeque tool amounts to a digital meat temperature taker that fuses wireless technology, a temperature probe and an LCD display in order to accomplish a task that humankind has accomplished manually for hundreds of thousands of years – checking to see if the meat is done.
You may have never before considered the idea that throwing a piece of meat on fire would require technological mediation.
You cook the stuff. You flip it. Perhaps you cook it a little more. At some point, you slice in to see how things are looking on the inside.
It’s a life-sustaining ritual that has prehistoric roots buried deep inside human DNA. The Grill Alert represents a technical alternative to human barbequing instinct, replacing judgment and experience with clinical data.
The device consists of two units – a wireless transmitter with a probe that sticks into your entrée and a wireless LCD receiver that clips on to your belt. Both operate on battery power.
The proposition here is largely social: Instead of having to stand by the flame constantly monitoring dinner’s progress, you’re free to mingle and refill glasses while the thermometer keeps a probe on the meat.
There’s the glimmer of a point in the premise. We’ve all lost track of the sirloins while rushing to get the potato salad on the table or catch the ending to uncle Jeff’s old fishing story. And there’s nothing worse than returning to the grill to find $100 worth of marbled and marinated meat resembling Cape Breton coal.
Tuck the probe into the centre of the meat, select the type of meat you’re cooking on the device (beef, lamb, veal, hamburger, pork, turkey, chicken or fish) and how you want it cooked (rare, medium rare, medium or well done).
The transmitter begins sending temperature information to the receiver.
The handheld screen provides constant updates as long as you remain within 300 feet.
So you’re free to pour another spritzer for Ted and share some illicit gossip with Cheryl without fear of scorching the lamb.
Then, when the meat reaches its ideal preset temperature, the technology kicks in.
A voice beckons from your portable receiver telling you the food is “almost ready” and, finally, when it is actually ready to serve.
In my tests, the device did all of that without hesitation.
I’d argue that my desired “medium rare” request was a lot closer to plain old “medium” on some sample T-bones and burgers. But this is more a matter of opinion than scientific fact.
The more troubling aspect of a wireless talking thermometer is the fact that it exists at all.
Is it true we’ve reached a point in human history when the once leisurely and pleasurable act of cooking meat has become too burdensome to accomplish without technological assistance?
Walking around with such a device hanging off your belt, chirping at you as you tend to guests, you will inevitably feel like a super nerd, a culinary idiot or simply a freak of nature.
Cavemen had this figured out a long time ago: In life, you have to stop and smell the grill smoke.