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Making QOLD even hotter

Whitesmith

In this blog post, I'll tell you about one of our own products, Qold. Soldered in our own headquarters, developed by our own staff and sold by our own business guys.
I want to show you the importance of Qold's last update, why the world needs Qold and hopefully get some feedback from you to keep improving!
Also, I'll be avoiding buzzwords like startup, machine learning and disruptive (I know I've just used them... you win Silicon Valley!)

QOLD PREVIOUS STATE

For those of you who don't know - which I hope is just you my distant cousin - Qold is a product that aims to deliver an automatic remote cold chain monitoring service. In other words, think of Qold as a thermometer with wi-fi that generates your temperature reports and gives you alarms when your fridge stops doing its fridge job.

If you have a restaurant you will automatically want to use Qold. Never again forget to register the temperature of your fridges and face a painful fine, never ever spoil the tasty fresh food you store because your freezer falls asleep during the night.

My Qold account
My Qold account

But if you are missing the point: remember all those times you had dinner at a restaurant and the food was great and fresh? And those times it wasn't? Well, Qold will improve this food safety issue. Just so your taste buds will thank us!

QOLD THIS BE ENOUGH?

That's the question we needed to answer. So we asked the right persons, for example:

  • Praxis - A restaurant with its own crafted beer, which they also export;
  • University of Coimbra Social Services - University's food supply with more than 1000 meals per day;
  • Novalis Chocogelataria - ice cream, Belgium chocolate, and pastry.

They accepted to be pioneers and use Qold on their facilities, giving us feedback and suggestions.
Besides using Qold, what do all of these facilities have in common?
1. To be the best in their activities and provide an excellent service!
2. To save money.
Their money is on the food they need to keep fresh and on the machines they use to do it, believe me, if a fridge goes off on one night it can mean major money losses. To us, it was clear what we needed to do. We must anticipate these malfunctions and be able to diagnose their machines.

Now our work is set!

After analysing the competition and understanding the market, we had to translate their needs to tech language, assemble the hardware capable of doing it, draw the PCB, develop the code and ship it!
Well, there was just one more step. Finish my masters in Physics Engineering (101 of writing a master's thesis report: don't underestimate writing a master's thesis report).

For this next iteration, we divided the problem into 3 parts: temperature, human usage and how will the machine respond to these variations.
Both the sensors and the hub firmware were improved. Not only do they keep temperature monitored, they also take advantage of light variations to detect human activity and when the fridge is opened or closed. Plus, with current detection, we can monitor how the motor reacts. Make everything communicate without using cables and it's IoT for cold chains.

This is how the sensor 'sees' when the fridge is powered on or off
This is how the sensor 'sees' when the fridge is powered on or off

To sum up, what was once a wireless thermometer, is now capable to fully monitor cold chains and forecast problems giving to the user more than just alarms.

SALES, SALES, SALES!

Hardware and software work done, time to sell!
Remember when I told you this is an in-house product? Which translates to all of us getting attached to it. That means that the team is really dedicated do see Qold succeed, to give all the support needed to our clients and to lose a night sleep if something wrong is happening. That also means that sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and exceed every expectation your teammates and your clients have in you.

With an engineering background, you probably think I'm not the right person to be selling Qold. Probably I'm not, but I'm eager to become! Just don't expect me to be the stereotypical sales guy who will tell you everything is amazing and he has the best product in the world. No, Qold is a real product for a real problem, if you have this problem or know anyone who has it, I'm here to have a nice conversation.

Diogo Bastos


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