A Berlin-based startup is enjoying much success in its crowd-funding effort to do away with the electric kettle. Traditional kettles, it says, are wastrels. It wants us to replace them with something more sustainable and convenient; something like its own Miito induction heating system.
The Miito is a two-part system containing a small induction base and a metal rod. Place the vessel on the base, dunk the rod in the liquid, and you're all set. With Miito, you can heat only the desired amount of liquid--nothing more, nothing less--directly in the vessel of your choice, which can be a cup, bowl, glass, teapot, or any other non-ferrous container.
Why this matters: Electric kettles, as convenient as they are, have one major problem: they tend to encourage overfilling. Before you dismiss the whole thing as unnecessary hand-wringing over something laughably trivial, know that that the additional energy we spend on heating excess liquid in our electric kettles tends to add up pretty quickly--not to mention the waste of drinking water.
"One day of extra energy use [from overfilling electric kettles] is enough to light all the streetlights in England for one night," Miito's Kickstarter page quotes sustainability campaigner Leyla Acaroglu as saying during a 2014 TED Talk. According to the people behind Miito, this statement is what inspired them.
But is Miito really more efficient than your typical electric kettle? Yes and no. The answer depends entirely on what sort of efficiency you're talking about. If it's the aforementioned type then yes, but if it's the efficiency with which it converts electrical energy into thermal energy the answer is a sheepish no.
"While an electric kettle seems to be more than 90% efficient, induction is on average a bit lower at 80-90%. This means that if you would heat 1L of water using an electric kettle and 1L of water using Miito, the electric kettle would be a tiny bit more efficient," the company explains on Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter campaign went live last week, and it didn't take long for the community there to warm (pun intended) up to the Miito. The kettle replacement blew past its original funding goal of €150,000 (around $167,000) in just 38 hours. As of Tuesday afternoon, the company's crowd-funding haul had ballooned to more than $312,000. No surprise, then, that the few hundred (roughly $85) "Early Bird" Miitos are all gone. As of writing this, you'll need to pledge about $100 to secure a Miito. Shipping, however, won't commence until April, 2016.