In this blog series, we will highlight some of the products we’ve developed, partly to show off what we can do, and partly to inspire new ideas for future products. IoT has endless applications, and there are some brands that are adopting it now, and doing it well.

So you know how cool Char-Broil’s Simple Smoker with SmartChef Technology is? Well, think of the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker with SmartChef Technology as it’s bigger, beefier brother. Here’s why:

What it is

A Wi-Fi-enabled, large-capacity smoker with digitally-controlled temperatures (read: extremely precise). That means you can easily feed a crowd (or eat for a week) while monitoring your food from anywhere.

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Why it’s so cool

  • A smoker that’s robust for the seasoned expert yet easy enough for beginners. Simultaneously cook a whole chicken, a rack of ribs, a pork roast, and a brisket, knowing they’ll all come out juicy and bursting with smoky flavor. And you hardly have to do a thing.

  • Each individual part is awesome. The smokebox (the wood chip container) is extra large to cover even the longest cook times. And all of the interior parts come out of the chamber (without the use of tools), and you can throw them in the dishwasher.
  • Through the app, you can keep tabs on a number of vital stats while your meats are cooking—no matter where you are.

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What we did (a short list)

  • Built custom app with a clean, intuitive design. It’s actually pretty complex creating a smart appliance that is easy and fun for end users. But we met this challenge with gusto by keeping the design simple, the tools robust, and listening to our client. This easy-to-read, data-rich app gives users a heads up for when food is almost done, when it’s done, chamber temperature, cook time estimates, and lots more. For a more in-depth look at the app, check this out:

  • Consulted on supply chain best practices, including advising on new manufacturer reference designs and streamlined factory communications. We regularly met with Char-Broil and their partners, educating them on the technology while also understanding the client’s unique product development lifecycle. We integrated a totally new kind of technology into a brand that’s been around since the 1940s. And through it all, developed a great relationship with this beloved company.
  • Provided an end-to-end, software, hardware, cloud, and mobile solution, continuing to work today as a partner committed to the product’s success and customer satisfaction. One way we are doing that is by keeping every single smoker updated with the latest firmware, which provides optimized performance and the newest features. Customers download the firmware through the app (and right at home). Here’s how easy we’ve made it:

So now you aren’t tethered to the smoker, and you’ve got a valuable, useful machine that’s backed by a time-tested company. Finding a vendor to develop a product for the IoT is actually pretty easy. Finding a vendor that takes the best of a known brand and pumps it up to a whole new technological level is hard. But we manage.