The iKettle (£99.99, firebox.com), “the world’s first Wi-Fi kettle”. A metal carafe with contained heating element, for boiling water. The unit may be operated remotely when networked to a phone.
Boiling a kettle uses a lot of energy, though I’m not sure that saving you a walk to the kitchen is the way to reduce that.
Wi-Fi kettle. The words are ludicrous. They suggest a world off its rocker, unable to stop putting touchscreens on things. What’s next? Wi-Fi socks? Downloadable toast? But I have to admit that this futuristic horror sounds … quite good. Using your phone’s location tracking and in-app alarms, it can greet you freshly boiled when you get in from work, or pop itself on when you wake up. It heats to 65, 80, 95 or 100C – optimal brewing point for a range of herbal teas and proper coffee. It even keeps the water hot until you’re ready. Perfect housemate, no?
No. Pain in the arse. To network the kettle I have to disconnect my phone from my home broadband and into the iKettle network. It doesn’t work, of course, but I don’t give up. The app advises me to reset my router to factory settings. I don’t usually like to touch or go near my router, which I think of as the life-support system for the house, but I do it. The app fails again. Not giving up, I call the support line. I’m given some jazz clarinet for a few minutes, before being transferred to voicemail. God almighty.
As a last resort, I try the “direct connection” mode, which links the phone and kettle but within a very limited range. It works! I boil the kettle from my phone. I’m in the future! I catch sight of myself in the kitchen window, remotely negotiating with a kettle a metre away from me, while there are real problems in the word. This is the point I give up.
A week later, my emails are still arriving erratically because my internet is in my kettle. But I guess this is what the future looks like. Wi-Fight it?
If you remove Wi-Fi from the equation, it’s not a bad kettle. Temperature settings and keep-warm functions are nice. But that is like complimenting the rocks when they’ve forgotten the whisky.