Tilt wireless hydrometer

Short Description: 

Smart hydrometer and thermometer for home brewing.

Physical Description: 

About 8 cm long plastic tube with end caps. No other physical characteristics except for the lights which indicate status. It comes in 8 colours. The app can only recognize one of each colour at a time so it's important to know which colours you have. It takes a crazy camera battery. I'll link to it in the comments.

Accessibility Features: 

No specific accessibility features.

Experience: 

Overall, I'm very pleased. This device will help me to successfully brew beer at home. It's not perfect and I would like to see some improvements, but as a regular hydrometer is off limits to me and this does the job, I can live with the few shortcomings. See comments for full review

Model: 

tilt black

Manufacturer's Website: 

http://www.tilthydrometer.com

Category: 

Comments

Like my tilt. Don't quite love it yet.

Intro

I hope to set up my first home brew extracter kit this weekend. It took some time to get my tilt up and running, but it is now water calibrated and ready to go. This is huge for me. Tilt is one of two smart hydrometers that I know of and it's the cheeper of the two. I've got a regular hydrometer here as well. It's just a glass tube like a standard thermometer. Utterly useless to a person who is blind. The tilt sits directly in the fermenter and takes constant readings wich it sends to any smart device.

Hardware

The hardware is very unassuming and extremely easy to use. On it's end, the tilt is sleeping. On it's side, the tilt is awake and doing it's thing. Open the app and the tilt imediately connects.

Issue one, status lights... I can't see them. If I open my app and the tilt connects, it's working. If it doesn't, it's not. The lights indicate low battery and calibration modes, but I haven't found this information in the app. I may have a better idea later. Initially though, it created a dependency.

issue two, Battery replacement. To replace the battery, you need to detatch both end caps, slide the entire component out of it's chassey, remove the battery directly off the board, and reassemble the entire device with a fresh battery. I don't have dextarity issues but I'm not a fireman either. I could not apply the force required to disassemble the tilt. I used a dollar store bottle opener on the caps, and the handle of a table knife on the component itself. Not only do you have to use excessive force to get it apart, but if you don't get it ceiled properly, you get liquid in the hardware. I really think it would not have been difficult to come up with a zero force insertion option in design.

Before posting my review, I emailed support about this issue. They tell me that some of the units are looser than others. They further offered to test and send me a unit where the assembly isn't so tight. I declined, but if you think this might be an issue for you, you can request to have your tilts tested for it when you place your order. I'm just going to be extremely careful and use what I have since I really want to get started.

Batteries

Tilt takes a particular not so very common type of a cell camera battery.

Help and support

The documentation on the site can be hit and miss. Using the tilt is generally so easy that the instructions seem almost insultingly simple at times. The guide for changing the battery is pretty well done. There are also video guides. The dialog in the video guides presumes that you can see the image in the video and contains instructions such as, "Put this in here like that". Not altogether helpful for a nonvisual learner. I did get the job done in the end. Improving the videos would be a confidence booster and a time saver for me.

Email support has been outstanding!
There hasn't been enough time to put in the most basic changes I recommended,
but Marcus has been extremely helpfull and encouraging. So far, I really can't say enough good things about dealing with this company.

Android app

The tilt didn't pare with my motorola G 2nd edition. This may be because the bluetooth stack is pre 4.0. So, I can't really tell you anything about the android app that you couldn't get from downloading it from the play store and trying it for yourself. In fact, I did this very thing before buying a tilt and I found everything labeled properly, standard controls in the settings dialog, and generally in working order. I went ahead and bought the tilt on the strength of the app. I will have to use an IOS device for taking measurements because I can't get it connected, but I fully expect all to be in working order.

Overall

Despite numerous niggledy piggledy improvements I'd like to see in future itterations, the tilt is completely useful, fairly accessible, and essential for anyone with a visual disability who wants to learn to brew at home. Very well done and I look forward to adding more tilts to my collection.