Editors' note, June 3, 2014: Drop smart kitchen scales are now available for pre-order.
Meet Drop, an iPad-integrated kitchen scale making its debut at San Francisco's Launch Festival. When I first heard about Drop, I was ambivalent. Sure, I like apps and products with smart features, but do I really need that much help measuring ingredients?
Turns out my baking technique has some significant flaws. Like many Americans, I tend to forsake the accuracy of scales for the more free-form cup-and-tablespoon approach. That's OK for some things, but it's potentially problematic for baking, where precision is key.
If you don't already use a scale, Drop promises a new level of accuracy. And if you do, Drop offers special features that are supposed to streamline the baking process even more. Add an ingredient to the scale and the app status bar will let you know when to stop. But, that's just the start.
Say you want to make cookies, but the amount of flour in your pantry doesn't match the recipe. With Drop, you can weigh the flour you have and the app will recalculate the other ingredients to offer a custom recipe. You might end up with 19 chocolate chip cookies instead of two dozen, but who cares? Immediate gratification wins when it comes to sweets.
Drop also offers clever workarounds. If you're missing an ingredient, Drop will suggest suitable substitutes so you can continue baking and avoid a last-minute trip to the store. The app also assists long after you've weighed that flour and sugar. It will tell you to preheat your oven and even act as a cooking timer. And when your 19 cookies are done baking, you can take photos and share them on your social media platform of choice -- all from the Drop app.
This smart scale is compatible with iPad 3 and higher via Bluetooth 4.0. There's no word yet on pricing, availability, or further app development within iOS and for Android. But, you can sign up here to get updates as they become available. Could this concept be the push I need to set aside my measuring cups for good?