October 12, 2006 Like it or not, no matter how much you try to avoid it, there are some things that run to a very strict schedule. It might be the personal trainer every Tuesday morning at 6am when on all other days you can sleep to 7.30am, or it might be that the exquisite meal you wish to prepare needs military precision in coinciding the readiness of the hollandaise sauce with the Chateaubriand. American Innovative is a company which specialises in creating “products that make sense” – interestingly it’s key successes so far have been related to solving timing issues. The company's first offering, the Neverlate 7-day Alarm Clock is a bedside clock radio designed with a variable schedule in mind and the company’s latest product is a kitchen timer for the serious home chef, the avid entertainer and the modern multi-tasker. The Chef's Quad-Timer provides four countdown timers with indicators arranged to look like a 4-burner cooktop -- what's on the stove and what's being timed are intuitively linked - green lamps indicate which burners are still cooking, red lamps are done. Though both products are available in some countries other than the U.S., the company is seeking international distributors.

The Chef's Quad-Timer comes in two versions. The basic US$20 model is made of rugged black plastic with white trim. The Quad-Timer Professional costs US$30 and features a brushed-stainless face and soft-touch rubberized housing, which nicely compliment today's modern kitchens and appliances. Both models feature a large dual-LCD display, easy-set dials, and a batch function for repeatedly timing things like cookies. The Neverlate seven day alarm is US$35.

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