project-image

MEATER: The First Truly Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer

Created by Apption Labs

Meater is the only wire-free meat thermometer that will guarantee perfectly cooked meats every time you cook.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

56 | Mamma MEATER! Here We Go Again
over 4 years ago – Sat, Jul 14, 2018 at 01:22:20 AM

Hi Everyone, 

Big news: We’re starting MEATER Block Production! 

We’ve received positive feedback from our beta testers, so we expect this stage to wrap up soon and without delay. We’ve scheduled a 100 MEATER Block production batch with a 1000 unit batch to follow. The initial 100 unit batch is a small run to ensure all the adjustments we made during the pre-production run were implemented correctly. Shortly after validating the units, we will begin the larger production batch. In this time frame, certification/compliance will be completed when the first 100 units start to ship.

As we did with the single unit MEATERs, we will begin production with small batches and ramp up in size as we continue to improve the manufacturing process. When we start shipping larger batches, it will be by region and order number. After our obligations to our crowdfunding backers have been met, we’ll start shipping to our meater.com pre-orders. We’ll let everyone know when the first 100 units are ready to ship once we have a definitive date and provide a delivery plan for each production batch as we start them. 

We’ve also made some very exciting improvements in the MEATER app: 

  • MEATER Cloud Cook Share – Now you can monitor and share your cook through a web browser, which means monitoring your cook is now platform agnostic; it can work with more devices. For example: your laptop, your friends’ Windows phone, your work desktop, or Cousin Larry's smartphone without downloading the app. Simply go to your cook, share the link with another device, and presto magico, cook monitoring at your fingertips. This feature is available now.

Cook Share Demo

Android on the left and iOS on the right: Tap the highlighted icon to access the Cook Share feature.
Android on the left and iOS on the right: Tap the highlighted icon to access the Cook Share feature.

*The Cook Share feature requires a MEATER Cloud account

  • The app has been translated in the following languages: German, Finnish, French, and UK English. Look forward to it in a new app update next week!
  • Support for Vision Accessibility on iOS. The MEATER app supports the VoiceOver feature that allows the system to read the app text aloud.
  • Don’t forget, MEATER has the Alexa Skill for the English language. Enjoy hands-free monitoring of your food.

This has been a long process, and we are so thankful for the support that we have received from all of you! We can’t wait to hear from you about the ways you’re putting the MEATER Block to the test – and your opportunity is just around the corner. As always, if you have any questions or product feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Thanks for your continued patience and support.

All the best,

Joseph, Teemu, and the Apption Labs crew

Let's Meat Up 

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Our store: meater.com

55 | Beta: A MEATER Block Story
over 4 years ago – Tue, May 29, 2018 at 10:47:28 PM

Hi everyone!

In case you missed the announcement, we have started beta testing the MEATER Block! It’s been a long road, but we’re thrilled our product is being tested outside of Apption Labs.

Our goal for beta testing is to confirm that the MEATER Block meets the expectation we’ve set and fixes the problems it is supposed to solve. Testers include Block backers who understand the spec and have used the single MEATER. This will help identify bugs and improvements specific to the Block so we can focus on finishing any open hardware/software issues.

Testers were asked to use the Block without special instructions so we know where we need to fix the user experience. Our usability goal was to design an intuitive experience that requires little to no “instructions” (because who really reads instructions?). The process involves initial setup, automatic pairing of the probes, pairing with the MEATER app, WiFi configuration, cook set up, monitoring, range, and the overall cooking experience.

Testing is still in progress and we’re happy to share our findings so far:

Initial impressions (unboxing, setup, pairing, etc.) 
 • We haven’t finalized the packaging yet so there was no real unboxing experience. But it was echoed, if it was anywhere near the quality and attention to detail as the single unit MEATER, we will be in good shape.

 • Initial WiFi setup: There were two testers that had issues connecting to WiFi. We troubleshot the issue and soon realized the units sent were not properly reset to factory default. The step-by-step instructions did not appear on the Block and set up was not done properly. Our testers have since connected the Block to their WiFi network and we will ensure it will be easier regardless of what state the Block is in.

Cooking and usability 
 • For testers who needed more range, they immediately pointed out that the Block solved this issue because of the connection to WiFi. You don’t need an additional smart device to use MEATER Link! 

 • Engraved probe IDs: Testers found this to be a very nice feature and that it helps to identify their probes/cooks easily. They also provided feedback on how we can improve it which we will consider implementing in future improvements of the system. 

 • Some testers experienced a few hiccups pairing the probes, and again we suspect the issues lie with not doing a “factory reset” prior to shipping. For example, the probes will pair directly to the phone vs. the Block. However, we will try to reproduce this issue and improve the pairing process so it does not matter how you’ve set up the Block initially.

Standalone Mode - Cooking without the app 
 • Though our original intention was for the Block to be used primarily as a Bluetooth to WiFi bridge, we also want to make sure you can cook without your smart device. One issue we ran into is there weren’t clear enough instructions. There will be improved instructions when the Block is released. 

We have another set of beta units to ship this week, which will enable us to test the additional instructions needed to make the experience better. We’ve also made sure the units are set to “factory default” this time around. =)

Pork chops!
Pork chops!
Droooooool....
Droooooool....

Meanwhile, our team continues to validate the new printed circuits boards (PCBs), and are growing confident that these will fulfil our requirements. Our co-founder, Teemu, and a few of our engineers are currently overseeing the second pre-production batch (using the new boards) at the factory. This pre-production batch will be key to helping us anticipate and understand any challenges we’ll be facing going into mass production. We will share our progress on meater.com/blog in the coming weeks and a full update to follow next month.

Since beta testing is still in progress and we have yet to validate our pre-production batch of MEATER Blocks, we unfortunately cannot provide a shipping date at this time. However, we are confident in our product, and we are excited about releasing it later this year.

As always we thank you for your patience and look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

Joseph, Teemu, and all at Apption Labs

Let's Meat Up 

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Our store: meater.com

54 | Ready Beta One
over 4 years ago – Sat, Apr 28, 2018 at 12:10:16 AM

Hi Everybody! 

The time has come — we are happy to announce that we are starting beta testing in May!

We always wanted our beta testers to receive units that were representative of actual production models. But after two attempts, the European prototyping company we were using did not craft bare PCBs (printed circuit boards) that met our quality standards, so we fast tracked new boards from our supplier in Taiwan. We received the new boards a few days ago, and we’re happy to announce there are no showstopper issues found so far. We’ll be validating the new boards over the next two weeks. If the boards perform to our strict standards, as we expect them to, we will restart compliance testing.

Boards! Boards! Boards!
Boards! Boards! Boards!
While we waited for the new PCBs to arrive, we modified old boards by hand for use in the initial beta testing units. This was a definite plan B, as hand-modification is time consuming and not representative of the production models. After the European prototype company failed, we knew we had to act immediately, so we started preparing beta units with the hand-modified PCBs. The hand-modified units have now been tested internally for a few weeks and we’re confident they’re ready for beta testers outside of Apption Labs.
Left:One of our engineers testing one of the new PCBs. Right:Close up of a new board with the Block touchscreen.
Left:One of our engineers testing one of the new PCBs. Right:Close up of a new board with the Block touchscreen.
 
During the past two months, we’ve made significant headway in improving the MEATER Block user experience by making things faster, more reliable, and more intuitive:
  • New and improved standalone user interface for the Block.
  • Improvements to app pairing to the Block, WiFi setups, and firmware updates.
  • Bluetooth connections between the probes and the Block are faster and more reliable.
  • Touch capacitive controls are more responsive.
Left: Testing MEATER Block beta units! Right: The UK team cooking a bacon explosion with a lot of MEATER Block probes.
Left: Testing MEATER Block beta units! Right: The UK team cooking a bacon explosion with a lot of MEATER Block probes.

We’re really excited about the progress we’ve made, and hope that you are too. Here are some upcoming milestones we are working rigorously to achieve:

  • Beta testing MEATER Block!!! - Starts next week
  • Hardware freeze
  • Second pilot run
  • Mass production
  • Finish compliance testing
  • Software freeze
  • Begin delivery
We’re looking forward to sharing beta test results with all of you in our next update. Until then, please don’t hesitate to send us an email (orders@apptionlabs.com) or leave a comment below if you have any questions!

53 | A MEATER In Time
over 4 years ago – Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 07:56:53 PM

Hi Everybody!

Our team continues to test the MEATER Block software with the current handmade “wired up” version of the hardware and, so far, we seem to have resolved the “phantom touch” issue we discussed in our last update. While we wait for the new hardware, our software & testing team further optimizes the Block’s cooking experience using internal cook testing as well as cook feedback from our single MEATER users.

Test cooks!
Test cooks!

Here are a few highlights: 
 • Fixed an issue in MEATER Link where previous cooks were not being removed from the cook history, causing new cooks to last indefinitely.
 • Fixed an iOS crash where the MEATER Block tries to update itself after losing connection to WiFi.
 • We fixed 10+ minor issues with WiFi pairing.
 • After fixing the “phantom touch” issue, we’ve also improved reliability and sensitivity of the touch control firmware.
 • MEATER Cloud has been integrated into the Block. 

Overall, the MEATER Block software is more stable than ever before, increasing our confidence in releasing it for beta.

In Progress

As we continue to test varied situations, we’re prioritizing the following: 
 • Optimizing BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) range between the MEATER probe and Block. 
 • Optimizing BLE reconnection times with the Block.  
 • Continued testing of the implementation of MEATER Cloud into the Block.  
 • Continued testing for bugs, squashing any we come across.

Teamwork makes the dream work
Teamwork makes the dream work

Estimated Timeline 

We want beta testers to receive production-representative hardware. For this reason, we decided against sending hand modified main PCBAs for beta testers. As mentioned in the last update, we have been in the process of making new main PCBAs with the prototyping company. This happened during the Lunar New Year, and to save time, we used a European prototyping company instead.

We worked with the new prototyping company to import our multilayer board parts list into their system, including simulation for multilayer board impedance check. We provided them with parts for the assembly and started the process. We originally estimated the process of attaining these boards would take until the second week of March, but working with this new supplier took additional time. However, long-term this will be a faster solution, as their lead time is only 3 weeks instead of 6 weeks for similar assembled PCBAs in Taiwan. We understand time is valuable, so we are paying extra for expedited service and saving time where possible.

This means that we’re currently two weeks behind our last previous estimation. Here is our updated schedule:
 • Last week of March – newly assembled PCBA’s (printed circuit board assemblies).        
 • Last week of March and first week of April – Complete validation of new PCBA’s.  
 • Early April – Assemble and send beta units for testing.         
 • Early April – Re-submit compliance certification. (4-6 weeks to get certified)  
 • Late April – Second pilot production.

As we’ve learned in the past, unforeseen obstacles can and do pop up in unexpected places, so we are not providing an exact ship date. However, we will continue to update you on any of the benchmarks we hit as often as we can.

We’d also like to announce that we are expanding our office space! With more space, we’ll be able to bring in additional engineers to assist us as we near completion of the Block and customer service staff so we can continue to improve our support and provide you with the best MEATER experience possible.

We’d again like to thank all of our backers for your patience. We are very excited about the upcoming release of the Block and hope you are too. We have another update coming next month, but if you have questions for our team or would like additional clarification, please email us at support@apptionlabs.com.

All the best,

Joseph, Teemu, and everyone at Apption Labs

52 | Block Panther
almost 5 years ago – Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 11:40:08 PM

Hi Everyone!  

It's been a very productive month since our last MEATER Block update, so we wanted to touch base with you.  

How is the team tackling the "phantom touch" issue?  

• The first thing to know is that the Block consists of two circuit boards: 1) main component board and 2) touch panel board.  

• The touch panel components on the main board were receiving interference from the WiFi antenna (causing random user inputs). We moved the touch panel components from the main board to the touch board and added EMI shielding.  

• We received these new touch panel boards 2 weeks ago.  

• In order to test the new touch panel board, our engineers hand modified the main component board (with wires as thick as human hair!).  

• These new boards were tested with positive results by verifying the solution using software, an EMI detector, and general use. So far, we have not been able to reproduce the "phantom touch" issue.  

Next Steps  

• We finished redesigning the main component board (to get rid of the wires) and will order the PCBs (printed circuit boards) locally in Europe to save time and avoid delays due to the Lunar New Year.  

• Once we receive the new main boards, we will test them internally and assemble beta test units.  

• If everything checks out as we expect it to, we'll move into beta testing.  

• We will re-do some of the certification tests because of the new design; however, because the older version passed the tests, we do not foresee any issues with the certification process.  

Estimated Timeline  

• 2nd week of March - Receive redesigned PCBs for testing.  

• Late March - If tests go well, send the final product design to the compliance lab.  

• End of March - Begin beta testing.  

Software  

• Major bugs have been resolved and we're now combing the product for minute issues. 

• Concurrently, we are implementing MEATER Cloud into the Block.  

How does Lunar New Year affect our progress?  

• It doesn't! We are ordering the PCBs locally so the testing continues!  

This leads us to the question we've heard from you most: when will I get my block (?!?!?!). We hear you. To answer that, let's take a look at what we know has to happen before we can ship, once we get through the above:  

• Beta Testing, subsequent bug fixes and improvements  

• 2nd Pilot Production to ensure all product changes have incorporated smoothly, subsequent fixes and changes  

• Mass production - Ramp up with subsequent fixes and changes  

• Complete compliance certification  

• Shipping units to backers  

These are the things we know. However, if the Block has taught us anything, it's that there are often obstacles we didn't foresee, and these can happen at all points of product development. It's these things - the unknowns - that keep us from being able to promise an exact shipping date. While we may like our steaks medium rare, we insist that our products are well done.  

With that in mind, we feel confident in saying that we are close now. In the spirit of honesty and transparency, we don't want to give you a guess. Instead, we'll continue to give you updates with as many benchmarks as we can.  

Just like the single MEATER, we plan to ship Block rewards by geographic region and by backer number (we don't, at this time, know what the regions will be or what order they will be shipped in as we have to coordinate this with the shipping carriers at the time). We will provide more information as we get closer to delivery.  

All of us remain 100% committed to this project and to you, our backers, and intend to finish this project and deliver all MEATER rewards. You can expect to see another update next month, but if you have any additional questions in the meantime, please reach out to us via email at support@apptionlabs.com.

All the best,

The MEATER Team

Let's Meat Up 

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Our store! meater.com