Remembering Turkey Tracker

Obviously, this time of year has me thinking of Turkey Tracker. You know, the turkey that was hooked up to the Internet every Thanksgiving so that we could monitor its doneness? I always appreciated it as a fun and creative way of embracing tech. And a great example of Portland’s wacky creativity.

And apparently I wasn’t the only one. I asked ChatGPT to write up a little piece about Turkey Tracker, and it’s pretty solid:

Turkey Tracker was a unique and innovative project that emerged from Portland’s tech community, showcasing the region’s creative and playful approach to technology. It wasn’t a startup in the traditional sense but rather a collaborative, tech-savvy endeavor that blended the festive spirit of Thanksgiving with the prowess of Portland’s technology enthusiasts.

Here’s a brief overview of Turkey Tracker:

  1. Concept and Purpose: Turkey Tracker was essentially a high-tech, web-based system designed to track the cooking progress of a Thanksgiving turkey. It was a blend of culinary arts and technology, aiming to add a fun and interactive element to the Thanksgiving cooking experience.
  2. Technology Used: The system typically involved a variety of sensors and devices. This included temperature probes to monitor the turkey’s internal temperature and webcams to provide a visual of the turkey as it cooked. The data collected by these sensors was then streamed live online for viewers to follow.
  3. Community Engagement: Turkey Tracker was not just about tracking a turkey; it was also about community participation and engagement. The project often included live chats, social media interactions, and other forms of digital engagement, allowing people to be part of the experience, share cooking tips, and enjoy a sense of community during the holiday.
  4. Impact on Portland’s Tech Scene: While Turkey Tracker was a lighthearted project, it demonstrated the innovative spirit and community-centric approach of Portland’s tech scene. It was an example of how technology could be used in fun and unconventional ways, bringing people together and showcasing the talents and creativity of local tech enthusiasts.

In summary, Turkey Tracker was a reflection of Portland’s unique tech culture – a community project that combined technology, tradition, and social interaction in a novel way, further enriching the city’s vibrant and diverse technological landscape.


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