WiFi Kettle Has 11 Hour Tea Break

12th October 2016 by in category IT Support Blog tagged as , , , , , , with 0 and 15

How a Data Specialist’s WiFi kettle created more than a storm in a teacup

WiFi kettle image by Yuleka.

Internet of Tea: Mark Rittman’s efforts to add voice recognition to his kettle gripped geeky tea lovers around the world. Image by Yuleka (via Shutterstock).

Imagine you’re sat at home watching a gripping drama or sports event. Being prime time viewing time, you make the best use of the ad break (or half time) to brew up. Normally, this process can take up to ten minutes. For Mark Rittman, and his WiFi kettle, this process took… 11 hours (yes, a borderline evil 660 minutes). The reason? Mark wanted to go one step further with his WiFi kettle: he wanted to add Siri and Cortana compatibility to his refreshment peripheral.

Siri for any delay

iKettle manufacture the latest WiFi kettles which adds networking capabilities to the humble kettle. After adding water, Mr. Rittman was faced with a networking problem, hence this tweet:

The startup routine for the WiFi kettle was Kafkaesque to say the least, as demonstrated in pictorial form. Three hours later, the farce continued:

Had it not been for a saucepan, Mr. Rittman would have been more irate. Even so, the network’s inability to ‘play ball’ was testing his patience:

Eventually, he managed to get the WiFi kettle connected, but it was a home brew method. This was due to the kettle’s compatibility shortcomings, especially with IFTTT and HomeKit home automation systems.

Why, Why, Why, Cortana…?

Getting his WiFi kettle to play ball with voice commands was only part of the battle. Ultimately, the Hove-based Data Specialist wanted to extend the Internet of Things to all parts of the home. This tweet reveals the method of his madness:

Here’s the voice controlled kettle in action, courtesy of Mr. Rittman’s dulcet tones and his Amazon Echo device:

For his efforts, a strong mug of tea barely covers it. You have got to admire his persistence. It also goes to show that if the Internet of Things stops your kettle from working, you can always fall back on the saucepan or a traditional camping kettle. Graham Linehan would have loved this story; there’s an episode of The IT Crowd out of this!

Tabard IT, 12 October 2016.

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