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.