It uses a "mathematically optimal shape" to allow for better measuring
There are two kinds of home chefs in the the world: Those who meticulously follow a recipe down to every teaspoon and those who toss in ingredients like Salt Bae after downing a bottle of Turkish wine. For that more exacting former group, measuring cups can be a surprising source of frustration, squatting and squinting to make sure you got that small amount just right. But a Kickstarter campaign for a new liquid measuring cup design is promising to make your measurements more accurate than ever before.
Euclid is billed as "a more accurate measuring cup," and though its appearance might not necessarily seem intuitive, the concept behind it is brilliant in its simplicity. The inherent issue with your traditional cup-shaped measuring cup is that even though the lines move up in even increments, this orderly system actually increases your margin for error in smaller pours. For instance, if you are just a little bit over the "1 cup" line, that not that big of a deal; but if you are just a little bit over the "1/4 cup" line, that same error is actually much more significant percentage-wise.
To correct for this problem, the Euclid tapers outward at a rate specifically designed to keep the percentage of error steady no matter how much liquid you are measuring. To put it in mathematical terms, "for every measurement amount, the ratio of surface area to volume is the same," the product's Kickstarter states. As a result, "Euclid is the first measuring cup to measure small amounts and large amounts with equal accuracy. Since recipes are all about ratios, that consistent accuracy across different amounts is essential. Consistency also improves repeatability—key to refining recipes over time."
As you might expect, Joshua Redstone, the inventor of Euclid, is a bit of a math nerd with a strong pedigree. He earned a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Washington before moving on to stints working at both Google and Facebook. In 2013, he left Facebook to focus on kitchen product innovation though his own company Equatine Labs. "I love cooking and the intersection of math with the physical world," he told the Boston Business Journal. "I realized that the shape of a measuring cup affects its accuracy, and there's a math question there. I couldn't resist digging in, and a four-year deep dive followed."
For at least the next 12 days, you can personally take advantage of the fruit of Redstone's four-year labor. That's how long is left on the Euclid's Kickstarter campaign. A single cup will set you back $24, with price breaks as you go up in quantity. And the good news is that the project has already blown past its $30,000 goal, meaning that the Euclid will likely be a reality by its May 2018 shipping date.
This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.