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This connected countertop dishwasher can wash your dishes and cook dinner

By Shawn Knight ยท 10 replies
Jan 12, 2018
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  1. Space is a precious commodity in dense urban areas like New York City where small studio apartments are the norm. Unfortunately, that means there’s not usually much room for household luxuries like dishwashers.

    Fret not, however, as Heatworks has a multi-purpose solution to your dishwashing needs.

    Tetra is a connected countertop dishwasher (remember, everything is connected these days) on display at CES this week. The appliance, built in collaboration with global design firm frog, doesn’t require plumbing to operate, just a standard electrical outlet.

    According to the company, the kitchen assistant can clean two full place settings (including plates, bowls, cups and flatware) or 10 plates or 12 pint glasses – all in 10 minutes. Water is loaded by hand so you know exactly how much is being consumed (about half a gallon per load) and there’s even an internal detergent reservoir that lasts dozens of cycles.

    Rather than traditional heating elements, the unit relies on patented Ohmic Array Technology that uses graphite electrodes and advanced electronic controls to excite the naturally occurring minerals in water. This allows for more precision over the unit’s temperature and opens it up to multiple uses.

    For example, Heatworks says you can use Tetra to easily sanitize baby products, wash plastic storage containers without melting them, cook seafood and even clean fruit. Talk about multi-purpose.

    Tetra is scheduled to arrive in late 2018 priced at $300.

    Lead image courtesy Michael Nunez, Mashable

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,117   +2,541

    Sounds like your wife.
  3. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 812   +543

  4. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 265   +255

    In the time it would take to load this thing, you can have the dishes cleaned and dried by hand. I can't believe how essentially useless some of this stuff is. Some single people will buy it anyway, I presume.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,062   +1,538

    Well, I have to wonder exactly what they mean by this. Yes, I see what it says, but the mineral content of water is so low that I think I am smelling marketing snake-oil in this. So you can't use distilled water, if what they are saying is truly correct - at least as I see it and how I usually interpret the word mineral - which typically means some sort of metal element compound. But the definition of mineral - http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mineral (at least according to dictionary.com) seems to leave room for a "mineral" being comprised of hydrogen and oxygen, say like distilled water. And graphite is a good conductor of electricity, but that would simply make the graphite a heating element. If that is the case, then this description is marketing blather that I bet they are hoping will entrap the not-so-educated into buying this thing.
  6. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 812   +543

    @wiyosaya you got me thinking (always dangerous LOL). I can only see several ways of how this might work.
    1. is that their graphite electrode is acting as an antenna pumping a frequency thru the water heating it. This would take too much power for what I see in this device.
    2., the graphite electrodes are indeed passing current through the water to heat it, but in this case you have a cathode and an anode and the charged elements will be drawn to and build up on the graphite, coating it and reducing efficiency greatly. For example calcium carbonate is in my water. I have what is called 'hard water' simply meaning it is loaded with minerals. The calcium ion will cover and build up on the positive electrode reducing its efficiency more and more over time.
    3. the graphite electrodes are simply heating elements, with mineralized water there is the problem that when water is heated the solubility for these minerals decreases, which means the minerals plate the electrodes (think scale in your kettle).
    4. the polarity of the graphite electrodes is shifted rapidly back and forth. Cathode becomes anode becomes cathode and on and on. This would avoid plating (but not scale as the water is heating up) on the electrode, but I don't know at all if this is enough to heat the water considering the low power this device must have.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    Reehahs likes this.
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,062   +1,538

    @senketsu I've been thinking about this more, and though you bring up good points, I am further convinced that this is marketing trying to distinguish this product and hoping that those without any technical knowledge will fall for their spiel. The mineral content of water varies from place to place making it highly likely that cooking times will vary, too, if this marketing spiel has any validity to it (which I doubt). The only way for them to compensate for that is if this thing does a mineral content analysis of the water it is using. Somehow, I do not see that in a fairly low-priced consumer appliance.

    I am still betting on the graphite being a heating element and nothing else.

    As I understand it, if there is a separate anode and cathode, there would be a chance that the current would electrolyze the water - I.e., break it down into 02 and H2 - which could be potentially dangerous.
  8. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 812   +543

    When I mentioned how it might 'work'. I didn't mean in the sense it lives up to their claims. Was just wondering how they claim this thing does what they claim it does. "Patented Ohmic Array Technology" Either this is a tremendous advance (after all it's only $300) or this is marketing BS. When it sounds to good to be true, it overwhelmingly turns out not to be what they claim,
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,062   +1,538

    I think we are on the same page, although, I am obviously leaning toward marketing BS.
    senketsu likes this.
  10. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,029   +546

    They did mention that it has "an internal detergent reservoir that lasts dozens of cycles". This tells me that they are using a specialized detergent, and this might be what they are using to condition the water to the appropriate mineral content.

    Of course, that doesn't mean I am willing to buy this - literally or figuratively - just yet. The name "ohmic heating" is a reference to the unit of measure for resistance, the "Ohm". Ohmic heating generally means you are electrically charging the items your actually hoping to heat. Knowing this, it sounds like they are planning on using the graphite electrodes to pass current into the dishware to heat them directly. It also works on food as well. I suppose this makes sense, but I'm skeptical. Ohmic heating has been one of the "magical" technologies, perpetually just "10 years away" from mainstream adoption.
    senketsu and wiyosaya like this.
  11. cuerdc

    cuerdc TS Booster Posts: 165   +39

    A steam mop in a box..

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