With each new generation of iOS devices, we receive wider spectrum of their capabilities. Even though it was hard to imagine what iPhones would be capable of, today we have almost limitless functionality. From time to time, I get a chance to review an unusual product that creates its own category within iOS accessories, just like the Netatmo Weather Station, which was reviewed a while back. This product merged temperature readings from an external device with iOS devices, in order to collect data. This was not anything new since there are fitness tracks that are doing a very similar job, but this was innovative and interesting enough to capture everyone’s attention.
Today we are going to review a product that is very similar to the Weather Station, but comes with numerous differences as well. The main difference between these two products is that while one is stationary, the other one is portable and can be used in almost any situation. This is Robocat’s Thermodo.
The main idea behind Thermodo is to allow you to measure temperature in any situation and any environment, and to get real-time readings. For this to work, a product needs to be very small and mobile, and that is exactly what Thermodo is. Available in black, white, or red ($30) or anodized aluminum as a premium edition ($45), this small device is designed to be plugged into the headphone port of your iPhone and give you instant temperature readings. When not in use, the sensor fits into its own elongated cap that is a part of a keychain. This setup seems to be most logical since this device isn’t made to be used at all times. What is important to highlight is that Thermodo is very quality made and once you plug it into its cap you won’t have to worry whether it will fall out by accident.
In order to get temperature readings you will need to use Robocat’s app. The app is incredibly simple, and it is designed to show you real-time temperature readings. Simply plug in the sensor and you will get a number on the screen after just a few seconds. The current temperature will be displayed with one decimal place, and you can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit. If you plan on using the sensor for longer periods of time, the app will save low, high, and average values and store them into the app’s history log.
The main issue with Thermodo is its effectiveness, considering that there’s the heat generated by the handset itself. The app offers the option of toggling between three switches, so you can choose if your iPhone is “regular”, “warm”, and “custom”. This creates practical problems since it can be hard to identify the current state of your phone, while this directly influences Thermodo’s accuracy. In order to resolve this, Robocap is also selling an extension cable, which seems to eliminate this issue. However, this cable should be provided in the packaging, instead of being offered for $6 as an additional purchase.
In some cases, Robocat’s Thermodo could be of great assistance. However, you will need to use an extension cable to get reliable readings, and it is very annoying to see that there is no cable included. This leaves a very negative impression.
PROS: Interesting idea. Gives reliable readings, but only if you buy an extension cable.
CONS: Problematic original packaging. Extension cable is a separate purchase.