Yesterday I took delivery of the iKettle – a new type of kettle that unlike 99% of the other kettles on the market, is advertised as a wifi-enabled device that can be controllable by your iPhone or Android device, made by a company called Smarter Apps.
Upon removing the iKettle from the packaging, it comes in 2 pieces. You have the base which has the coil for the kettle to sit on and connect to which houses the power cord and the buttons to control the device manually. The second piece is the actual kettle itself, made from stainless steel which has a nice finish and for which you can also buy different coloured ’skins’ so that you can customise the look to suit your tastes. On top of the device is a hinged plastic lid which opens easily with the touch of a button, enabling you hold the kettle and open the lid with one hand whilst you use your spare hand to manage the tap. It’s a small but important detail that too many other kettles fall down at due to removable lids. The iKettle holds a maximum of 1.8 litres which upon examination with my existing kettle, proved to be able to store more water and therefore less re-fills! The indicator to show you how much water it can hold, is on the inside but is easily viewable when filling the iKettle with water and is not obscured which again is another positive over most kettles.
Upon connecting the base unit to the power socket and switching it on, there is a standby button on the base which pulses a red light to indicate that it is in standby mode. After filling with water, I easily connected the iKettle to it’s base and pressed the standby button. At this point, you could hear it starting to boil the water and on the base there are several buttons alluding to different temperatures that you can choose to boil the water at – I left it on the default 100c. Whilst inspecting the buttons, I also noticed a keep warm button which states in the manual that after boiling the water, it will aim to keep the temperature of the water the same for 20 minutes which works by re-boiling the water (only for a few seconds) so you don’t have to completely re-boil the kettle if you were not ready to pour when it initially finishes it’s boiling cycle which is another positive.
I wouldn’t say that iKettle was any faster or slower than any average kettle for the time it took to actually boil the water, in fact I am sure there are kettles on the market which can boil water quicker than the iKettle but the whole point of this kettle is the convenience and the fact that you can remotely activate the iKettle to start boiling when you are somewhere else in your home or office!
Which leads me onto the accompanying iPhone app. Once you have downloaded the free app from the App store, upon first use of the app you are guided via on-screen instructions on how to connect the iKettle to your existing wifi network. Upon successful connection, you get a nice user interface with touch screen buttons to be able to turn on and off the iKettle, keep warm, change temperature settings etc. If you access the menu within the app, you will discover more settings where you can have the app automatically prompt you at set times of the day to whether you would like the app to tell the iKettle to start boiling the kettle. It also has another feature where you can set your home location between certain times of the day and your phone will recognise when you have arrived home and will prompt you with a ‘Welcome home, shall I pop the kettle on?” message where you can then tap yes to start the iKettle boiling remotely. You can customise the app so that it can give you notifications on when to refill the iKettle and when it has boiled, when it’s not attached to the base etc.
Upon using the product for the last 24 hours, I have noticed that it would be nice for the iKettle to automatically turn on at certain times of the day rather than at the moment where it just prompts you to turn on at certain times of the day – you still have to tap yes in the app but upon speaking with their customer support today, they did confirm that feature is being worked on for the next release of the app which will be a free software update via the App Store.
- Control your iKettle via your mobile device
- Easy one-touch set up
- Wake up and Welcome home mode/Timer
- Choose from four temperature settings
- Keep warm feature keeps the iKettle at your desired temperature for up to 30 minutes
- Super easy to clean – removable filter and no internal element
- Auto shut off with boil-dry protection
- Stainless steel design with soft-touch handle
- LED backlit control panel
- iKettle skins:
- Available in Blue, Green, Pink, Taupe & Yellow
- Match your kettle to your kitchen
- Reduces the risk of accidental burns
- Insulates, keeping your water warmer for longer
- Lovely soft-touch feel silicone
- Simple to fix and remove
- Wireless 802.11b/gx
- Works on Android 4+ and Apple iOS7+
- Requires a 2.4Ghz router
- Has a standard 3-pin UK plug
- Voltage 220-240V
- For use outside of the UK, the iKettle will require a transformer to bring the voltage to 220-240V (not included)
- Frequency 50/60Hz
- Power input 1850-2200X
- Box Contents:
- Kettle Capacity is approximately 1.8 Litres
- Box Measures approximately 21cm(W) x 24cm(H) x 20.5cm(D)
- Weighs approximately 1.6kg
- Fantastic Remote Control
- Boil Dry protection with prompt to refill with water
- Quality, polished feel to the design
- Simple, effective reliable accompanying app to control
- Better than average water capacity
- One handed re-fill operation capability
- Choice of different colour skins to customise to your own taste
- Needs automatic scheduling to turn on rather than prompting (being worked on)
- 4-5 minutes boil time from cold
- Standby light constantly pulses when not in use
Overall, I am very impressed with the world’s first wifi kettle and it has lived up to my hopes and expectations since pre-ordering the product earlier this year. The potential for 3rd party developer integration with existing home automation products like SmartThings and Wemo etc., all point to an exciting future and this is another device and appliance than can be controlled within ‘The Internet of Things’. It is a niche product, there is no denying that but as I said, integrating this type of device with existing automation technology and to see how developers can further the experience, points to an exciting future – as long as they stop for tea breaks.