The Milkmaid: An App-Enabled Milk Jug to Tell When to Buy Fresh Milk

In May 2012, Quriky and GE organized a contest to get the ideas from consumers to bring some technological improvement in everyday home appliances by making them “smarter with software.”

The final winner was Stephanie Burns who suggested on Twitter “Give me a milk container that I put a gallon milk in that tells when it’s REALLY going bad.”

So Quriky and GE finally designed a smart milk jug, which has the capability to tell users when their milk was going bad or some more milk are needed. They named this state-of-the-art product as Milkmaid.

The Milkmaid is quiet easy to operate. Here’s how it actually works. First of all, the milk goes into a quart-sized vessel section outfitted by pH and temperature sensors. As the milk starts turning sour in the fridge, the sensors will sequentially take readings and communicate this information to the pedestal that the vessel sits in.

The white pedestal, located at the bottom of the jug, is known as SmartBase. This is the point where it does it actual work. As soon as the microcontroller at the bottom gets the information from those pH sensors, it gradually modifies an LED attached on its front from green to orange to indicate how nasty the milk is getting. There is also a weight sensor snuggled inside the SmartBase to sense how much milk is left in the vessel. In addition to that, it has a GSM radio module, a SIM card, an antenna, and a heavy rechargeable battery to perform the whole process appropriately.

During its production, a lot of crafting and design went down when Quirky team comes to San Francisco Maker Faire, they get the input from their community as well. According to a team member Jess Fugler, the final product is a combine effort of Quirky design team and fans of the project.

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