What it does
Reimagine the Electric Kettle
My inspiration was the daily use of electric kettles. I wondered why all kettles look so similar. I quickly noticed that they not only look bad but they are also wastefully designed! The minimum fill line of the majority of kettles is at approximately 500ml. This means that if you want one cup of tea (250ml) you waste 50% of the hot water, which means you waste 50% of the energy. This adds up to be A LOT! Leyla Acaroglu (sustainability provocateur) said in her TED presentation: “One day of extra energy use [from overfilling electric kettles] is enough to light all the streetlights in England for a night.” -Leyla Acaroglu I decided that this was going to be the problem I want to solve: how can I change people’s habits of overfilling electric kettles in order to save energy.
How it works
MIITO is an innovative product that heats liquids directly in the vessel to be used, hence eliminating the heating of excess water. Simply fill your cup with water, place it onto the induction base and immerse the rod in the liquid. The induction base heats the rod, which then heats the liquid surrounding it. MIITO works with non-ferrous vessels of any size, for example a pot of tea when inviting guests. MIITO can also heat your soup or milk for a coffee. The clean shape of the rod allows it to be cleaned easily. ￼MIITO does not have an on/off button: simply lift the rod from the base and it shifts to “Standby” mode. In this mode a small current flows which detects the ferrous material of the induction plate. Once a vessel is placed onto the base and the rod is placed inside, the full induction power turns on and heats the induction plate of the rod. The device signals once the liquid has boiled and shifts back into “Standby”. By placing the rod on the base the device shuts off.
While designing I always start by going back to zero. I had the concept figured out so I started to look at completely different things: feelings of material combinations in products and furniture and working methods in industrial manufacture (in particular heating within metal productions). Next I took apart various kitchen appliances that heat to research how they are typically constructed. I also conducted theoretical research into induction heating and chose this to be the basis of my invention. I went through numerous form studies and 3d models of the visual prototypes. Simultaneously I collaborated with an electrical engineer and built “dirty” test models to check the technical feasibility of my idea. Furthermore I also designed the user interaction. I wanted it to be as simple and intuitive as possible by eliminating all buttons. The device should detect when you want to use it and then just work!
How it is different
Nominated for the Melkweg Award at the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands