In the Spring of 2010 entrepreneur Chris Allen was seeking app developers for his bluetooth cooking thermometer project “iGrill.”  I was working on Telephony Media at the time, a contract app-dev studio when Chris found me through a recommendation.

An iGrill in the wild. (iGrillInc.com)

Right from the get-go it was clear that the iGrill would be a neat project.  We were to design and build the iPhone and iPad apps while other companies did the hardware.  We went with a high end kitchen appliance aesthetic and Geoff did a beautiful job of it – it was his first app!

The first big challenge was to communicate with the iGrill hardware.  At that time the iPhone only supported two bluetooth protocols, neither of which was suited for this application.  Apple’s hardware team helped and we learned to read packets from the device as though they were audio from a bluetooth headset.

Another challenge was project management with a remote team.  It was my first time directing a project and communication breakdowns resulted in frantic programming marathons as I tried to get us back on schedule.  In the end despite working with a team of 3 developers I had to write almost all of it myself to meet our launch date.  A lot of lessons were learned the hard way on iGrill.

We had bitten off more than we could chew, but by the end we could chew more.  No other project in 2010 was as much of a challenge as iGrill.  In the end we did release on time.  It is in the Apple store today, and we built a second version of the app as well.  It did beat out the Nissan Leaf and other devices to win Bluetooth Innovator of the Year at CES.  And it does cook a perfect steak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>