Why selling the iGrill to Weber might be good for business and users.
iDevices, the company that sprang onto casual consumer radar six years ago with the iGrill bluetooth cooking thermometer, is now selling the rights for its cooking accessory brands to Weber-Stephens Products, LLC. The acquisition includes rights to the iGrill 2, iGrill Mini, Kitchen Thermometer and the KitchenThermometer Mini. At current, the terms of the agreement haven't been announced.
While the acquisition seems appropriate for Weber, the international company known for its grills and accessories, it represents an interesting shift for iDevices. According to CEO Chris Allen, the Connecticut-based iDevices has received most of its revenue since launching in 2009 from the sales of its cooking accessories. Late last year, however, the company broke into the smart home market, with the Apple HomeKit-compatible Switch, Outdoor Switch and Thermostat.
In a sense, this development represents a new commitment for iDevices: they can now focus solely on smart home technology. Allen says the shift not only will provide the capital to "allow [iDevices] to invest heavily into research and development in the home automation space. [It also] cleans the story up for consumers." In other words, iDevices isn't just a company that makes smart-home tech, they are a smart-home tech company. In fact, iDevices has already announced this year four new properties, including smart dimmers and sockets.
For iGrill users, not much will change -- at least for a few months. Both the iGrills and Kitchen Thermometers will still work using the iDevices app for the time being. But a new replacement app, developed by iDevices in partnership with Weber, will be available for download in spring. The user interface will change with the new app, but more significantly, the features likely will increase -- especially given Weber's collection of recipes and ubiquity in the grill market.
Although the extent to which Weber plans to expand upon the iGrill properties is yet unclear, a representative says the company is "fully committed to the continued development of innovative technology that will help our customers further enhance their grilling experience."