A company called Drop has made a revolutionary scale, a kitchen scale that is wireless, it connects to an iDevice (iPad mini, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad 3rd generation, iPad 4th generation, iPad Air and iPad Air 2) through Bluetooth. That’s it, to interface this item you need an iDevice and the app that Drop makes, it has no screen itself. So the scale on it’s own is useless, the real magic is the companion app that goes with this scale. When you weigh something the weight is transmitted to your iPad where it is displayed in large numbers. But it can readjust recipes if you are short on one item. At the end of the baking session you can take a picture and upload it to Facebook, because we all know that all your friends love seeing food you are about to eat.
Here is the punchline, it retails for $99.
Let that sink in, a Bluetooth scale that only works with Apple products (that is not a feature, but a limitation) is $99. Let’s be realistic here, this item certainly cost less than $15 to make, probably in the range of $4-10 to make. It is just a normal scale that has a Bluetooth transmitter in it and an app that is free but could probably retail for $0.99 – $4.99 putting their total cost per unit at $10-20. I do not mean to gloss over the research and design that went into this item, but like any other product for the Apple sphere it is grossly over priced.
Lastly, look at it. While this is in the sphere of subjectivity, lets be honest, it does not carry the sharp Apple veneer that Apple products are supposed to have. It looks like a piece of shallow Tupperware with a comically large lid. It’s design qualities are more at home in the Fisher Price school of design than something that is designed for legions of vapid consumers longing for meaning. That being said, this product looks like a blatant rip off from the Betty Crocker line available at your dollar store.
The Drop scale ostensibly makes cooking much easier, but does it really? You now have to contend with messy fingers on your iDevice to interact with it, there are already a vast library of apps that handle recipes, all this does differently is plug your data into existing recipes and can modify them based on what you have. Just because it is something you cannot do now, or easily do now (I’m sure there are cooking apps that allow you to change recipe ratios manually) doesn’t mean it warrants spending $99.
A common argument in Apple circles is that some feature x is worth the cost no matter what.
“Finger print scanner, I better dump this useless iPhone 4 because this one feature is worth spending literally hundreds of dollars so I can unlock my phone 2 seconds faster!”
The Drop scale does not fix some underlying issue with cooking. It is the idea of this product that is alluring to those who want it or have bought it. It is like a step counter in a cell phone, or heart beat sensors, these features are a nice idea and make you feel good, but they do not make you more healthy. Only you can make you get up everyday for a daily jog.