Mealhero is a unique foodbox in a lot of ways. Using RFID labels to calculate the precise steaming time of each used ingredient is one of them. This post lays out the ingredient scanning process from label to plate.
The key words to describe your Mealhero experience are tasty, healthy, and easy. And you can trust us on this. All a Mealhero user has to do in order to have a delicious meal is scan the package label of 3 ingredients and press the smart button of the steamer twice. It’s as simple as that. The smart steamer knows how long it precisely takes to prepare the entire meal, and this because of the RFID label that each individual ingredient has.
Using RFID labels unlocks a lot of interesting opportunities when it comes to steaming your meals. RFID stands for radio frequency identification. This technology uses radio waves to collect and transmit information. A great plus is that this type of labels do not require a line of sight between the label itself and the smart button which scans the label.
Each individual RFID label contains information about the package ID. Every individual ingredient that is packaged and picked has its own unique package ID. Subsequently, numerous IDs are linked to a specific ingredient, which are saved in the database on our server. Each ingredient has his own steaming time and power output.
When the label of an ingredient is scanned, the smart steamer reads the package ID and sends a signal to our server. The server responds by sending the information containing not only the steaming time but also the amount of power needed. This is expressed in a value between 0 – 255.
As mentioned, after scanning each ingredient, the smart steamer has all the information needed to serve a perfectly prepared dinner. Apart from calculating the steaming time of each ingredient, the smart steamer also adds logic to the steaming process: by aligning the steaming time of each individual ingredient. For example ingredient A needs 10 minutes to prepare and ingredient B only 5, then ingredient A will start to steam and after 5 minutes ingredient B joins in.
Using RFID labels gives Mealhero quite a few advantages compared to other foodbox services. One concrete example is that from a distance – if deemed necessary – our foodchef can extend the cooking time of an ingredient. While every ingredient is thoroughly tested before being added to the shop, we’re not perfect and sometimes we can make a faulty calculation. To illustrate: some weeks ago we received a couple of messages from our customers, stating that the ‘chicken mignonette with bacon’ was undercooked. Thanks to our technology, we could solve this issue immediately and extend the steaming time of this ingredient – even though most of these packages were already at home in our customers’ freezers.