Software engineer spends 11 hours trying to get his Wi-Fi kettle to make a cup of tea

By midian182 ยท 17 replies
Oct 12, 2016
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  1. There have been plenty of articles about insecure IoT devices; Internet of Things security appears to be getting worse, not better. But it’s not just the dangers associated with smart homes that put some people off, it’s also the fact that they can needlessly complicate simple tasks.

    A perfect example of this comes from the UK, where a man spent 11 hours attempting to make a cup of tea using his connected iKettle.

    Big data specialist Mark Rittman’s saga started at around 9 am when his device refused to cooperate, leaving him to debug the kettle - a sentence that perfectly encapsulates many people’s fear of the future. He did boil some water the old fashioned way, but carried on trying to fix the problem.

    Several hours later and Rittman still hadn’t solved the issue, though he does now admit that assigning the kettle a static IP address rather than using DHCP would have been a better idea.

    The problem is that the iKettle wouldn't integrate with Rittman’s other smart products, such as his Amazon Echo, leading him to hack the device and add the functionality himself. But while it lacks IFTTT or Homekit integration, there is an API.

    Eleven hours after his ordeal started, the software engineer finally got his kettle back online and responding to voice control, but his IoT problems hadn’t ended: his connected lights started a firmware download, meaning he had to eat dinner in the dark.

    Admittedly, this is a pretty extreme case; most people wouldn’t be using a Python script to make their smart kettle work with IoT home hub devices. For his part, Rittman tweeted that the purpose of all this was “to create a real-world IoT event src for home IoT Hadoop project.” But many questioned why he didn't just use a normal kettle.

    Permalink to story.

  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    IMO, a great example of doing things because we can does not mean that we should. In the dark and without Tea. The world is coming to an end. :p
    Reehahs and Raoul Duke like this.
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    I like this guys dedication
    enemys, Reehahs and Raoul Duke like this.
  4. IMHO this encapsulates what trying to do things in life is so often like today. You think this should be easy, then it turns out to be Kafkaesque. When it shouldn't be
    yRaz likes this.
  5. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 387   +659

    Most "Smart" devices that are connected for the sake of being connected in a nutshell...
  6. Dustyn

    Dustyn TS Enthusiast Posts: 56   +12

    God people are so lazy these days. Hey, while we're on the subject of useless ideas... can we create a Wi-Fi enabled toilet with an app that connects to it to alert me with a prompt that I've taken a giant ****, and that it would be pertinent to flush? That would be such a useful idea since so many people are looking at their phones while making... :\
    Johnnyblaze1957 and BSim500 like this.
  7. tehxion

    tehxion TS Rookie Posts: 19   +9

    That's not such a bad idea, a toilet that analyses a stool and urine sample would be an excellent health product and one of the more useful applications for the IoT. A lot health issues from cancer detection to liver, gut and bowl functions can be obtained from a waste sample.

    I would probably draw the line at a toilet that provided a full colonoscopy however, at the very least changing the default password to you know, protect your behind from a but-net or something.
    cartera likes this.
  8. commanderasus

    commanderasus TS Booster Posts: 195   +72

    I still make my tea the old fashioned way - I boil it in a pot on the stove - no internet needed - some of our so called technology is not "smart" if you have to spend 11 hours trying to get it to work. This message was delivered by carrier pigeon version 4.5
    Johnnyblaze1957 likes this.
  9. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,325   +1,972

    A kettle, some water, a hot plate and 5 min = tea! Of course I have to applaud this bloke's tanasity and will volunteer to write a note to his boss excusing his absence, if needed. Otherwise I would recommend the next article be on this fellow testing the kettle's construction by dropping it off the roof ... won't fix the kettle, but MAXIMUM stress relief! Cheers!
  10. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,305   +1,400

    I just scream at the water until the kinetic energy from my voice makes it boil. Afterwards it is so terrified that it simply changes into tea.

    Capaill, Razer, Mikael_r and 2 others like this.
  11. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I quite like the idea of IoT connected tech.
    I can control my heating from my phone. I can set my "Youview" DVR to record a series from my phone. I can turn on the lights in my living room from my phone or set IFTT to turn it on when my phone connects to my home wifi when I return home at night. I find some of it quite useful but the kettle that typically takes a couple of minutes to boil in the morning after pressing a button. Pointless.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    For starters, he was using an iKettle connected to some iGadget... big mistake!! What did he expect?
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  13. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,080

    don't you mean, What did iExpect? ;) get it?
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  14. I was reading an advert that came in the mail from some giant chain store. I was looking at the prices of stainless steel kettles like the one in the photo (without the internet connection LOL) and it occurred to me that only in the First World does it cost $130.00 to get hot water (the price of the nice stainless steel electric kettle).
  15. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 426   +278

    I feel a Scotty quote coming on... "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain"... I think the analogy fits...
    Arris and Johnnyblaze1957 like this.
  16. andrewdoyle88

    andrewdoyle88 TS Booster Posts: 113   +95

    What software/hardware do you use to accomplish this? I quite like the idea of lights turning on once connected to wifi.
  17. Razer

    Razer TS Booster Posts: 126   +14

    I used to boil water with my scream like you but then I took an arrow in the knee
    FUS RO TEA!!
  18. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Use a couple of LIFX bulbs connected to a Logitech Harmony Hub. I like the Philips bulbs too but found the LIFX ones on sale so I opted for them. Now can have a "Movie" activity that switches on all the Home cinema stuff, loads Netflix app, and dims the lights. It's quite cool but mostly a gimmick :p
    andrewdoyle88 likes this.

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