Some call it "the smartification of things" or the "the Internet of Things," and while it'll be the norm in a decade or so, it's pretty niche today, which often adds way too much to the price for most items.
There's no guarantee that the connectivity solutions applied to these gadgets are going to work well or even be practical, but hey-- some people like rom-coms-- devices like these are my guilty pleasure.
With its wifi components hidden inside its stainless steel body and classically simple industrial design, the iKettle isn't just attractive, solves a particularly interesting problem for me. I very much like the idea of timing tea with breakfast from a few taps of my phone in bed, or just picking up my device and telling the kettle to get itself ready for some green or black tea (it's got settings for a couple of types.
It's back in stock. And it's tempting. The thing is, that like all of its smart, connected cousins, the iKettle should ship with two things:
- A stated promise of firmware and other soft updates. There are a lot of things with wifi, but ha;f the promise of a connective device is that in the event of a useful innovation or security problem, a patch is on its way.
- An API in addition to its app so tinkering developers can integrate it with other services. The more people tinker, the more they'll talk and integrate its functionality with other, companion products.
Besides, with all these devices needing their own apps, smartphone home screens start looking like this, which is not fun.
APIs are part of the solution. Like the "macro" or activity focused line of Harmony remotes, Boulder's own Revolv does a good job of consolidating various systems into a simple interface. But that's a topic for a different entry.
In the meantime, I'll wait for some more iKettle reviews before I plunk down $170.00 for the appliance. Even if it's not connected, one of these alongside my phone's timer app isn't exactly an awful solution.