Overfilling a kettle might not seem like the obvious Eureka moment, but it’s an event that inspired Miito. The device, which heats liquid via electromagnetism, allows users simply to heat the water they need. And that’s a big deal.
According to a report by Britain’s Energy Saving Trust, if everyone in the U.K. boiled only the water they required, the surplus energy would power the nation’s streetlights for two months.
Miito’s creators are based in Berlin, Germany. But it’s safe to say the logic applies there too. And now, with a Kickstarter campaign running successfully, the duo hope they can make Miito as ubiquitous as the electric kettle.
The design, and concept, is simple. Miito uses a 280mm-high metal rod and induction plate to heat any liquid, in non-ferrous containers. And it can do that faster than you can at home: the gadget’s electromagnetic current can boil 200ml of water in as little as 60 seconds.
Miito is the brainchild of Nils Chudy, of Berlin, and Jasmine Grase, from Riga in Latvia. The pair met at the Eindhoven Design Academy in the Netherlands where the idea came about.
“Miito all started with looking at electric kettles and noticing that they all look so similar: either like a 3D render or like a high-speed train,” says Chudy, 23. “Later, while researching electric kettles more closely, we noticed that there was a major design flaw in the majority of electric kettles out there: they are extremely wastefully designed!
“The minimum fill line of the majority of kettles is at approximately 500ml,” he adds. “This means that if you want one cup of tea – 250ml – you waste 50% of the hot water. Therefore one wastes 50% of the energy.”
Within weeks Chudy and Grase had moved from their studio in Copenhagen, employed engineer David Riding and set to work with a small team in the German capital, to make Miito a household name.
“Right now we are facing the adventures of ramping up the power and increasing efficiency – a lot of tests and prototypes are being built to come to the best possible solution,” says Chudy. “This involves a lot of work and time!”
Miito’s Kickstarter campaign is going “great,” he adds – it won its first three backers within two minutes of going live. The device is currently on preorder for €90 ($101): enough to dissuade some buyers perhaps, but a design piece that will draw its fair share of conversations.
Efficiency, of course, is key. Chubby admits that, from an energy conversion perspective, electric kettles are still “phenomenal” at more than 90% efficiency. Induction, meanwhile, can only muster 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,” he adds.
Yet it is the overfilling of kettles – whether by poor water level markings or sheer laziness – that wastes far more energy. Miito also gathers far less scale.
That doesn’t mean its creators aren’t dreaming of scaling the model up. Chudy claims that it is “just the beginning,” and sees households filled with items low on efficiency. For now the pair are focused on their first project. “After that,” adds Chudy, “who knows – let’s see what the future has to offer us.”