Once again I'm writing about a Kickstarter project, breaking the rule of not posting about them. Perhaps is the involvement of an European iOS development team with a passion for weather apps or the wish to give the iPhone a sensor that it never had. What could possibly make me back another hardware product on Kickstarter?
Thermodo by Robocat is tiny thermometer that plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone or Android device of choice to give you temperature readings. Unlike the other weather apps you already use, this little device doesn't require network access to pull the weather forecast from one of the big meteorology suppliers. Basically, the stats from places that can be far away from where you actually are.
Thanks to some magic I'm not able to understand, Thermodo reads the temperature around you, instantly, and transforms it into an audio signal sent through the headphone jack. The device will work in any platform as long as you have an app able to recognise these readings — be it your phone or your laptop. Interpreting this data is where Robocat's expertise comes in. Basically, why is a software developer getting their hands dirty with hardware manufacturing?
Thermodo will come with a companion app that will work a usable prototype for your regular use. In addition, it will showcase the open SDK that other developers can use to make Thermodo-compatible apps. Robotcat has already implemented support for its weather apps Thermo and Haze (reviewed on the blog), so the idea is that other people will integrate Thermodo's own readings into different apps, eventually adding an extra layer of data to the weather forecast.
Showing the project to other people I get the impression not everyone finds much use for this device. Do you want to know the temperature inside your bed and not for the rest of the house? Are you going to check how cold is it inside a plane? Will you open the window and measure the temperature outside? The promotional video shows you can use an extension cable to leave this outside your window while your phone is docked charging, for example.
From a 1-star iTunes reviewer
It's funny to hear the anecdote that Robotcat considered making the Thermodo a thing after some negative feedback of their popular app Thermo. The video on Kickstarter reenacts the angry reviewing on iTunes from a user who complained thinking the app would enable a temperature sensor inside the iPhone. Check the inside joke around 1:05.
While the appeal of the Thermodo might only be the novelty of it, I'm personally very interested getting anal in temperature details. In fact, I even considered getting these thermostats for every room in the house, which we use around the office already — the bathroom in my house is almost tucked outside the main building and it's pretty cold compared with the living room, for example.
The odds of me using the Thermodo over time are not extremely high, but I can see the use of it to check the temperature in the room casually, specially in the summer months. The place where I work tends to get relatively hot during the summer months as the air conditioner insists in pumping hot air. If I have a little thermometer with my in my keychain I might be able to get distracted for some seconds and forget about the heat. I'm just hoping this venture will be able to ship before September — it has an estimated completion for August — which could make the Thermodo a cool thing to have for the hottest time of the year.