The frustration of never being able to heat Thai food boxes to a proper temperature, and a general wonder about how poorly a microwave oven works, was the beginning of two young PhD students developing the new patented Microweter technology.
The technology is used for the first time in a new product—Milkymeter—recently launched on the Danish market. It is a thermometer that measures the temperature in a feeding bottle, when heated in the microwave, so that parents will know exactly when it is ready. The path from invention to a finished product has not been without challenges.
“During our engineering programme, we have been encouraged to constantly think application. Next to the our theoretical studies, we have had to prove that things could work in practice with the challenges this offers. Without this ballast, we never would have come as far as we are now,” says Henrik Schneider, who is one of the two inventors of the new technology.
The idea for the first product which uses the new technology, also comes from Henrik Schneider’s own experiences as the father of an infant. He experienced difficulties in heating the feeding bottle without the milk becoming either too hot or cold.
“We got a handle on the electronics through our study programme. When we presented our product idea to other new parents, it won acceptance by so many that we were convinced there was a market for it. However, taking the next step to establishing a company and having a finished product today has been a long journey,” says Kristian Lindberg-Poulsen, the second inventor and co-owner of the company Senserna.
In need of money and expert guidance
The two engineers realized they needed help from experts and financing from investors in order to develop their idea.
A Danish Tech Challenge course for young start-ups, of which DTU and The Danish Industry Foundation stand behind, gave the next big nudge. Here, the two business owners got in contact with mentors and investors. The course secured them the financing for both the ongoing development of the Microweter technology, a professional board of directors for their business, and contact with business partners who initially helped with the design and production of the feeding bottle thermometer.
Revolution of microwave ovens
Henrik Schneider and Kristian Lindberg-Poulsen are already well under way with their next development project, even though the first product has only just been launched, and plans to export to other European countries are scheduled for the end of the year.
“Our vision is to create an intelligent microwave oven which can heat a meal to perfection. We hope to enter into partnership with a major manufacturer to revolutionize the way we use the microwave oven today. There are more than 600 million microwave ovens in households worldwide, so the market is huge,” says Henrik Schneider.
Senserna has just been awarded a project for the City of Copenhagen, which will ensure a better culinary experience for the elderly citizens that have food for heating delivered on a daily basis.