Posted by Eric Huang on October 14, 2016
IoT getting into Hot Water – Or Not
Today’s blog is brought to you by practical uses for USB that are impractical with IoT.
As reported in the Guardian, a WiFi Kettle is in the news because a guy tried to start up his WiFi iKettle to brew himself some tea, and it took him 11 hours. He wanted to use voice commands to start the kettle.
Because he had to debug the thing.
Because things don’t talk to each other.
So, I’m going to ignore the obvious safety issues like:
What if there was a little kid around? Wouldn’t you want to be in the same room with the boiling kettle?
Would you want your kid to be able to say “Boil me some water for hot chocolate” and then just have it there?
(Or “Earl Grey, Hot” but at least if you were using a Replicator, you could set the temperature to a non-2nd degree burning temperature).
At least with a Microwave, the kid has to be tall enough to get a mug, fill it with water, put it in the microwave, press the right buttons, to have the opportunity to burn themselves.
So if you don’t have kids, the a voice controlled Kettle is fine for you, so let’s proceed.
I’m going to focus on how USB has enabled great products like this USB mug warmer, that keeps your drink warm.
Now I imagine that USB mug warmers (and hand warmers) are mostly not used to boil water for the specific reasons that the it’s hard to pull enough volts or amps or watts to actually heat the elements.
If that was the case, you could just convert a Fish Aquarium warmer like this.
And then you have a USB Water Boiling thing. (Ignoring the obvious possible liability issues from boiling water next to your PC)
Or just buy an off-the-shelf water heater that’s been in existence for decades and have water anytime you want. (without having to work on debugging the device for 11 hours).
So with USB Power Delivery delivering up to 100W of power, with different power profiles, you can now build a USB water heater.
And here’s the George Foreman USB Grill
(It should be noted that at one point, George Foreman grills were selling at a rate of $8M is sales a week, so this is nothing to laugh at.)
The obvious solution to this is to build your IoT Kettle with a USB Power Delivery Charger. Then you can just walk into your kitchen, fill it up with water, and plug it in and turn it on.
Yeah, my boss (Mick) said, “I don’t have time to blog this week. You blog.” I said, “I’ve got it Boss!”
Hot Water Jokes
It turns out there isn’t a single “Hot Water” joke that is safe for work.
Instead I offer you xkcd.com comic “Will It Work”