My brother-in-law loves gadgets. Ideally, he’d like to be able to control all the appliances in his home with a smartphone app or a remote – for him, the ‘smart’ kettle is a dream come true.
The Smarter iKettle Wifi (yes, this is a kettle with wi-fi) can indeed be controlled from your smartphone or tablet and lets you boil it from any room in the house.
There’s even a ‘welcome home’ mode that will ask if you want to stick it on as soon as you walk in the door. If you’re anything like me you’re now thinking, why?
Don’t get me wrong. I see the attraction of getting the kettle going while I’m still snuggled under the covers. And to be fair there are some fancy features – such as the choice of four temperatures for different drinks (coffee, tea, green tea etc).
But here’s the thing. You still have to get out of bed, stick a teabag in a mug, get the milk and stand on the cold kitchen tiles in your bare feet to drink the thing. So just how useful is it really? And at ninety quid, it’s about £70 more expensive than our cheapest Best Buy kettle.
How smart can our homes get?
Smart gadgets like this seem destined to take over our homes, but are they really making our lives easier? I love my smart TV (as long the apps work for a decent amount of time). A smartphone… fine. Even, at a stretch, a smart fridge that can plan your meals, tell you when your food’s off and order eggs when you’ve run out.
But sometimes I just want a toaster to be a toaster, a kettle to be a kettle. Because the funny thing is that while some manufacturers plough money into developing smart products, we still too often find models that don’t do their basic jobs properly – like toasters that won’t brown bread evenly or fridges that don’t regulate temperature efficiently.
Like a modern teasmade
The smart kettle actually reminds me a little of a 21st century version of one of those teasmades that used to sit by so many bedsides and promised to wake you up in the morning with a steaming hot cup of tea.
On balance, I probably won’t be buying a smart kettle. But I know a man who will.
Would you buy a smart kettle? What other smart devices have you heard of and what sort do you really think would be useful? Do you own a Goblin Teasmade and is it still in working order?