Smart Knob Lets You Control Your Oven Precisely Via Phone

knob

It turns out that even former Amazon and Pinterest engineers can’t take a new product to market without spending years prototyping and testing. And that’s as it should be, say the pair behind Meld, a clever gadget that replaces the existing knob on a standard stovetop to connect to a smartphone and precisely regulate temperature.

“They say baking is a science and cooking is an art, but the temperature part of cooking is very scientific,” Meld cofounder Jon Jenkins told Forbes. “What we tried to do … is take the part that’s science and what humans are bad at and let you do the part that’s art — the flavor.”

On its second day of the recent Kickstarter campaign, Meld had pulled in more than $80,000 out of a $50,000 funding goal.

With backgrounds at Amazon and Pinterest, Jenkins and cofounder Darren Vengroff used their own funds to bring Meld to a place where they felt comfortable launching a Kickstarter campaign, with a promise to deliver to backers in October of this year.

Though it looks fairly straightforward, the system is technologically sophisticated. The knob communicates via Bluetooth with a sensor that is clipped to the side of the pot, and the device’s motor adjusts the heat.

The pair spent more than a year working with 3D printers and iterating the functionality of the entire system multiple times. They developed a proof of concept by July of last year, and they brought the gadget to a prototype by that November. This year they chose a manufacturer and last month they finalized the design before launching the Kickstarter April 7.

The knob and clip will retail for $149 together, but on Kickstarter the package is available for $129.

3 thoughts on “Smart Knob Lets You Control Your Oven Precisely Via Phone

    1. A pot could be a dutch oven but further evidence of your point is that the control is shown in the picture with the label “front” which would again make it sound like a burner on the STOVE and not an oven control. This could also wouldnt work on a GAS oven control if the knob needs to be pushed and turned or turned to a “light” position which almost all modern gas ranges require. Its simply a gadget IMNSHO!

      1. Yeah, after reading the kickstarter page it is a stove top burner control. The MAKE article headline is misleading.

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Jean Thilmany is a freelance writer based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her articles covering technology and electronics have appeared in publications such as MIT Technology Review and Minnesota Monthly.

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