Smart Chef Smart Food Scale

Last modified
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Description of App

Smart Chef Smart Food Scale and app work as a smart tool that helps people create tasty and nutritious food. In addition, users can log their food intake to popular diet accounts: such as WW, Apple Health, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal(via Fitbit or Health app) and more... to learn more please visit:
http://www.smartchef.me/story

Use Cases - Food related:
- Talking Kitchen Scale for people with visual impairment
- Nutrition Education
- Calorie counter
- Diet plan
- SmartPoints tracking to WW (requires an active WW Online Account)
- Calorie counting to MyFitnessPal (via Fitbit or Health app)
- Nutrition tracking to the Apple HealthKit
- Food Logging to Fitbit
- Recipe Building
- Unit Conversion
- Food Intake Curve Analysis
- Coffee or Tea Brewing
- Baby or Enteral formula mixing
- Baking Mixing

Use Cases - productivity related:
- counting scale: counting various objects, such as coin, nuts & bolts
-Egg Scale: determining Egg class by its weight

-Smart Postal: estimating USPS parcel shipping cost
-Smartlog Pro: logging a series of homogenous objects or monitoring weight changes of a single object.
-Barcounting: controlling inventory of open liquor bottles
* requires a Smart Chef Pocket Smart Food Scale, Approx: $50
**To buy a Smart Chef Pocket Smart Food Scale please visit:
http://store.reflexwireless.com/smart-chef-smart-food-scale

Version

7.5.7

Free or Paid

Free

Apple Watch Support

Not Known

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Accessibility Comments

The app is very accessible and has many siri Shortcuts that make it very easy to use. I tested only the Talking Scale feature.

iOS Version

12.2

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

The scale can weigh 1 Gram to 10 Pounds

Recommendations

1 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Richard 1 year 3 months ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by René Jaun on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Hello,
I was inspired by the good accessibility rating of this product and actually purchased one.
However, I do find that the accessibility of the app is not as great as this directory entry does suggest.
First, there are a couple unlabeled buttons. They‘re located on the top left and top right of the app‘s home screen. One switches into what I think is the Settings window, while the other toggles between what they call the Service menu and the Business Services.
I also find that trying to navigate the actual service menu using VoiceOver is a pain. I keep sliding up and down the screen with my finger, looking to catch one of the icons, and I keep missing them.
Finally, I find that trying to interact with some of the icons (in my case, I‘d like to try out the Coffee Scale), does not produce any perceivable result. Either the function can‘t be activated while VoiceOver is running, the function activates but is totally inaccessible, or the app displays an error message. Should the latter be the case, the error message is again not accessible for VoiceOver.
Thus, I would recommend to change the accessibility rating. Most buttons indeed are clearly labeled, but the app could definitely be easier to use.
I must admit that so far, my Smart Chef Scale has as it seems not yet been able to connect with my iPhone at all. (At least, the numbers don‘t change if I actually try to weigh something). Once I have it set up and running successfully, maybe I will change my opinion. But then again: The app would not even tell me in a perceivable manner that it couldn‘t connect to the scale; when I experimentally switched off bluetooth, it would not even ask me to switch it on again. :-(
So, I‘m having not such a good start; it can however only get better...

Submitted by René Jaun on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Hello,
I finally managed to have the scale connect to my phone.
(Had to hard reset the scale and it worked).
While the app indeed provides a Talking Scale feature, including an impressive set of SIRI Shortcuts to interact with, even this part does not allow access to everything.
For example: The scale can weigh things in kilos, grams, pounds and ounces; and there are Siri Shortcuts to activate them. But the scale can actually also auto convert to liters of water, liters of milk and some more.. There is however no Siri Shortcut to activate these.
And without Siri, it‘s only by chance I can activate them.
My experience is this: I am able to open the Smart Scale App, then navigate to the Talking Scale and double-tap it. This will activate the talking feature.
However: Reading through the screen with VoiceOver after the talking feature is activated still reads me the very same home screen. It is as if I hadn‘t activated the feature at all.
Trying to make the Talking Feature stop (so I could try another one), I double-tapped the Talking Scale icon again. This did not deactivate the scale, but made the scale cycle through its measuring options.
So: My guess is that VISUALLY, tapping „Talking Scale“, „Smart Café“ and so on indeed makes windows with buttons appear, but VoiceOver just ignores them.
So while I really think they‘ve done a great job adding the Talking Scale, I am rather sad it‘s about the only feature currently accessible in this app.
I‘ll follow your advice however and drop them an email.
They seem to update the app rather frequently, so I do have hope for it to become better.

Hi René,
This is Eric from the Smart Chef software development team. My team and I were the people implemented the talking scale in-app. First, let me quickly address your first issue on accessing the "Talking Scale" in-app.

You can start the "talking scale" in-app via a Siri shortcut "start talking scale". With or with the Smart Chef app open, you can start the talking scale feature by saying "Hey Siri, start talking scale"

Here are the remaining issues:

1. Hard reset the Smart Chef Scale
I am glad that you have found the method to hard reset the scale. This issue happens whenever the scale believes that it is still connected to a mobile phone, therefore rejecting any new connection. The issue does not happen often, but when it does hard reset is the way to go.

2. Accessing to milliliter (water) and milliliter (milk)
We will add these two voice commands to the update. To make it easier for Siri to recognize the variance between these two commands. They will be as follow:
"change unit to water milliliter" and "change unit to milk milliliter"

3. Accessing Smart Chef app features
Currently, Siri commands are only integrated for the "talking scale" in-app. We do have plans to expand Siri commands to other in-apps. Most likely, we will release a separate app for the visually impaired community as other in-apps have UI that only make sense when users can visually interact with the app.

If you have any further question or feature suggestion, please email my team directly at dev@smartchef.me. We would love to hear from you. For other tech/service support, you can also email service@smartchef.me

Thank you again for trying out the Smart Chef Scale.

Eric

Submitted by René Jaun on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hi Eric,

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I appreciate your plans to add some more Siri commands to your app.

What rather worries me is your quote:

Most likely, we will release a separate app for the visually impaired community as other in-apps have UI that only make sense when users can visually interact with the app.

To be honest, I am not sure this is true.

Could you elaborate on why you think the UI elements in your current app can't be made accessible for the blind?

As you probably know, VoiceOver, the screen reader which is built into iPhones, enables blind individuals to interact with most visual elements in apps, including buttons, slides, drag and drop functionality and so on.

I believe that if you add the necessary Accessibility Properties to the visual elements in your app, it becomes perfectly accessible and you wouldn't have to build a separate app for the blind at all. To be honest: I, and many others in our community, would prefer your "main" app to become fully VoiceOver accessible instead of you building a separate app just for the blind.

Have you considered going that route instead?

If you are interested, may I direct your attention to this link? It lists many useful resources, including Apple's own Dev Center, explaining how apps can be made fit for VoiceOver.

Looking forward to hearing your opinion!

Hi René,

Thank you for sharing the link with us.

We would certainly try to improve the accessibilities of the Smart Chef app for the visually impaired community first without making a separate app. The idea of creating a separate app arises from the following two considerations:

1. Many of the existing UI designs made the assumption that users can quickly see changes on the screen during app interaction.

2. As we add more voice commands to the many in-apps in the Smart Chef app, the Siri Shortcuts list may become overcrowded.

If there are specific tasks that you would like to do with the Smart Chef scale & app, please do write to us at dev@smartchef.me with some general descriptions. We can prioritize those features in our software development roadmap.

Cheers,

Eric

Submitted by René Jaun on Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Hello Eric,
Thanks for outlining those reasons.
Let me address them both:
As for content that changes frequently, there‘s no need to develope a separate app.
Apple provides detailed instructions on what Accessibility Attributes have to be defined in order for these elements to be handled by VoiceOver correctly. If you set these, everyone using VoiceOver will be alerted instantly as soon as an element changes.
You can find information on how it‘s done at
https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/documentation/UserExperienc…
(Look at the sections about „dynamic elements“
As for Reason #2:
There‘s really NO NEED for more Siri commands. As you have discovered, the blind are perfectly capable of handling an IOS app, as long as it has the correct Accessibility Attributes set. In fact: I personally prefer using an app „normally“ instead of having to talk to Siri all the time.

I hope you keep considering!
If you need further information, please let me know!
Best Regards and thanks for the work you do! René

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