By David Ponce
A milk jug is a milk jug, ain’t it? Not if Quirky and GE get behind a contest that spurs participants to submit ideas that improve everyday items with software. The entries were examined and the winner determined to be @StephanieABurns, who suggested improving on that particular item. The result is the MilkMaid, which kicks things up a couple of notches for the venerable jug. The two part system contains a quart-sized vessel section outfitted with pH and temperature sensors. These take periodic readings and communicate them to the smart base, which itself is chock full of tech: there’s a micro controller and a set of LEDs which change from green to orange as the milk starts to sour. There’s also a “weight sensor meant to detect how much milk is left in the vessel, along with a GSM radio module, an antenna, a SIM card, and a hefty rechargeable battery to keep the whole thing humming along.” The idea is that once the milk is running low, or if it’s starting to get bad, the device can send you a text letting you know about it. There’s also talk of an application where you’d be able to keep an eye on all the metrics at once.
The way Quirky works is that once a prototype is ready, it moves on to market testing where a price is determined and a decision on production is made. We should see that pop up soon, which may mean that the MilkMaid could stand a decent chance of becoming a real product.