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Didja ever get the ice cream out of the fridge only to find it's hard as concrete? So what do you do: leave it on the counter to warm up a bit, then forget it's there, then find a container of 'soup' when you finally recall that you left it to thaw just a tiny bit!
Soooo why not build something like
a meat thermometer; i.e. temp gauge with a probe that could be pushed into the ice cream. Enhance temperature gauge with a preset temp alarm, so that when ice cream temp is juuuust right it beeps to remind you that scooping time is nigh.
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||Why a temperature sensor? Shouldn't it be a device for
measuring softness? A cylinder of standard diameter,
pressed into the ice cream with a standard pressure. When
it moves by a standard distance, Ding!* your snack is ready.
||I'd bet money such devices are already used in commercial
ice cream manufacture.
||*Ding, not beep, because I think it could be 100%
mechanical, without electronics.
||For the cylinder to work, you would need to test the
icecream periodically. I think the purpose of this idea is
alert you when your icecream is ready to eat.
||It could be done mechanically, though. Use a bimetallic
strip and some cleverness and a magnet, and a bell can go
"ting" (or "ding", for the US market). You could even have
several bells that go "ting" in different keys, as the
||[+], because I think this is a good idea.
||Pressure would be a much better measurement than
temperature because I'm pretty sure that the cream stays
at freezing temp long after proper spooning time.
However, all icecreams have unique viscosities so the
pressure measurement will need calibration for each
different brand and flavor.
||Heavy cylinder (lead, say, in plastic bag). Wind-up
alarm-clock. Tie one end of a string to the cylinder, the
other to the latch on the alarm-clock ringer. Weight sinks
gradually into ice cream, pulling string taut. Ding!
||Calibration might require the consumption of much ice
cream, but that's not a bug, it's a feature.