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Smart Spoons - 2015

The idea was to build a product helping you to avoid drinking a burning hot beverage. This spoon with an RGB LED should show the tea or coffee's temperature in the mug, shining red when too hot, green when ok, and blue when cold.

Smart Spoons

The prototype was controlled by a small Attiny13 microcontroller, which had almost no current draw (tens of nA) during sleep. When woken up by a button on top, the temperature of the beverage was measured by an NTC thermistor and shown on the RGB LED. It was powered by two coin cell batteries, which had wires soldered directly to them. As you can imagine, soldering wires directly to a coin cell is not the best idea. They do have the habit of exploding when exposed to excessive heat...

The circuit was meant to be encapsulated in silicon in a spoon-like shape, but it never got that far. The project leader lost interest in it when the total production cost became known and significantly exceeded the initial expectations. It is just another example that making a viable, profitable product is not easy at all.