Here are three remarkable facts: 1) as early as the 1950s, my parents had an early form of smart home technology called a Goblin Teasmade, which combined a bedside alarm clock, kettle and teapot and would wake them up with a fresh pot of tea; 2) Swan (www.swan-brand.co.uk) still produces the exact same Teasmades; 3) A hipsterish outfit called Smarter has now introduced a range of similar hot-drinks-makers, though they’re a bit more cumbersome as they work via a smartphone app. Smarter suggests this saves time: “With the wifi kettle you can start boiling your kettle from anywhere in the house,” it says, “saving you up to five minutes at a time, or up to two days a year.”
I like this wifi kettle because, app-control silliness aside, it’s a nice stainless-steel kettle with one killer function that you can take advantage of without the bother of controlling it by phone from another room. You can heat water to temperatures other than 100°C – for herbal, green and white teas, for instance, which are best at 80°C. You can just press a proper old-school button and elect for 95°C, 80°C or even 65°C. Smart.