Why would your kettle need to be connected to the internet? I’d like to imagine that’s what they said when phones gained the connectivity. But, it’s not the same thing. It’s a fucking kettle.
The iKettle (now somehow 2.0), by Smarter Apps, is a product that can be turned on wirelessly with a phone. Sometimes that boil button, the one button that you have to push is too hard to push. We may use remotes for everything in place of pressing a button. However, I still think the kettle-user is skipping to Step 2 in this important two-step process. This top comment on Silverman’s Telegraph post (2013) highlights it’s importance:
“Oh but you still have to fill it yourself, thus making this even more pointless. People will overfill so they have to make fewer trips to the tap, so it will take longer to boil the kettle and will use up extra electricity. This invention could cause the end of the world as we know it.”O’Connor in response to “Wifi kettle allows you to boil water from your bed” (2013)
Step 1 of boiling a kettle is to fill the kettle up with water. I asked the experts about whether the kettle could do that from the phone.
It obviously couldn’t; a clear sign that the creation of the iKettle could lead to the end of the world. This is one of the implications facing developers in the world of Internet of Things (IoT).
“IoT stands for the connection of usually trivial material objects to the internet – ranging from tooth brushes, to shoes or umbrellas – augmenting material settings with ambient data capture and processing capabilities.”Mitew, T 2014
Not only is the iKettle a trivial device, it’s also a vulnerable device. Ken Munro (2015) has revealed that it’s possible to intercept the access point of the iKettle, send a couple of commands, and receive the WiFi password in plain text. Munro comments that the state of the internet of things security is something to be worried about. In his presentation at Infosecurity Europe 2015, Munro demonstrates 5 different devices found in the home that can be hacked. Which is why the iKettle is a dumb device; even if it is social and says nice things in the morning to you.