Technology. Is there anything it can’t do?
Until recently, to determine the remaining amount of gas in my van’s cylinders, I’d do it the old-fashioned way: pour warm water down the side and feel for a temperature change on the cylinder.
Now, I’ve replaced this dark-ages approach with the BMPRO SmartSense, a brand new device that sends a signal to a free app on your smartphone to tell you precisely how much gas is left.
Sure, there are other products available that can check a gas cylinder’s level, but none that I’m aware of that can send a notification to your pocket when the gas is running low.
I tried the SmartSense on three different gas cylinders. One I knew to be empty, the other I knew to be about a quarter full, and the other that I knew to be about half full.
The SmartSense uses magnets to attach the bottom of the gas cylinder – for the most accurate reading, it’s important to attach it as directly in the centre of the cylinder as possible, as it sends a vertical signal up and back down through the cylinder to the device.
When first attaching, it can take a few minutes for the device to register the precise reading as it waits for the gas inside the cylinder to ‘settle’.
On each cylinder that I tested, the SmartSense returned readings that I expected: empty; 22 per cent; and 41 per cent.
I had no issue ‘pairing’ the device with the app on my phone. The app itself is intuitive and well-designed – you can even set the threshold for when you receive notifications as to the gas level.
While it’s probably a good idea to remove the SmartSense when towing your van, the magnets appears to be quite strong and I see no reason it would detach when underway should you accidentally leave it in place – I couldn’t shake it loose.
It runs off a CR2 battery. Replacing it is simply a matter of prying the two halves of the SmartSense apart.
At $89.95, it’s also well-priced. You can buy el-cheapo gas level indicators as well as $100-plus devices. None, however, will send automatic notifications. If you take your barbecues seriously, it’s one product that’s well worth the money.