Hands-on with Temp Pal, a kid-friendly connected thermometer
Everything is trying to connect to our phones in one way or another. For over a year now, medical tech has been high on that list. Specifically, household staples like thermometers have been "upgraded" several times over to try and be a tool you can wield with your phone. The truth is, your trusty thermometer probably doesn't need Bluetooth. If you're going to take someone's temperature in most environments, it's usually a one-off and really doesn't need to involve your phone.
On the off chance that you need to use a household thermometer for more than that one-off situation, though, the folks at Temp Pal have a compelling, persistent alternative that even works with kids.
Temp Pal starts out as a small, flexible square that sits in a charging pod until you need it. When you take the square from its case and apply it to the underarm of the person you want to monitor, it connects to your phone via Bluetooth and stays connected as long as you're in the same room as the person you're monitoring. When you open the app, it constantly polls the pad for temperature information, and offers that information back to your phone.
Out of the box, it's clear this is designed for monitoring temperature over an extended period. This is great for monitoring basal body temperature and planning ahead, but there's a lot more to it than that. What isn't on out of the box is the ability to set temperature warnings on your phone. This is where Temp Pal can be especially useful with kids, especially if you've got a sick little one whose medicine is wearing off in the middle of the night. You get a notification when Temp Pal records above or below the thresholds, and you can act immediately.
The most impressive thing about Temp Pal, even in the brief time spent with it, is how this unassuming little square seems to work exactly as advertised. It's light and flexible enough to not be uncomfortable when used for extended periods, accurate enough to be used as a home thermometer, and the battery won't die on you in the middle of the night. It's not flashy, it's not pretty, and it's gets the job done — kinda like regular thermometers.
If you want to get your hands on a Temp Pal, you've got a bit of a wait ahead of you. There's an IndieGoGo campaign to see this idea come to life in a larger way, with plans to ship in August for $69. While that's noticeably more expensive than your average thermometer, the ease of use if you're either planning to have a child or trying to raise one you already made is significant. All it really needs is to be here right now.
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Russell is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He's a passionate futurist whose trusty iPad mini is never far from reach. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Reach out on Twitter!
It really is, I love the idea of this.