In a time when taking temperatures is a required daily routine for some as part of Covid-19 safety precautions, instant-read digital thermometers are a welcome convenience — assuming you don’t pull it out of a medicine cabinet with dead batteries. The BCool’s solution to that problem is to trade batteries for a capacitor that can be quickly powered up for a reading with just a quick shake.
Decades ago shaking a thermometer was a common requirement as it ensured chemicals like mercury returned to a reservoir at the bottom and was basically how doctors and nurses would reset thermometers between readings. Digital thermometers are far more convenient and are ready to go as soon as they’re powered up, but they’re yet another device that’s dependent on batteries, or users remembering to keep them charged. The less of those we have to contend with, the better.
Using “Baracoda Daily Healthtech’s patented BMotion sensor technology,” the BCool swaps a battery for a capacitor — an electronic device that can temporarily hold a charge — that’s connected to a simple generator inside that’s powered by a quick up and down shaking motion. It only generates enough power for a single temperature reading that can be taken by pointing it at or sliding it slowly across the forehead for more accurate results, but it works without touching the skin, making it a more hygienic solution for multiple users. It’s completely waterproof, however, making it easy to clean when needed.
Although every shake only generates enough power for a single temperature reading, there’s enough energy left over to transmit the data over Bluetooth to an accompanying smartphone app where readings can be stored, annotated with additional symptoms, and graphed over time, to monitor the progression of a potential fever. Availability isn’t expected until the fourth quarter of 2022 (supply chain issues still abound) and pricing is expected to be around $US80 ($110) — batteries not included or required.