So, here is an interesting fact: the UK is the only country to have "Kettle Surges", which is also known as "TV Pickup". An example of "TV Pickup" happened just after England got knocked out of the 1990 World Cup Semi Final. A power surge equivalent to 1.12 million kettles being turned on simultaneously occurred. Well done Britain, living up to the stereotype perfectly.
During this power surge, a huge amount of power would have gone to waste. This wouldn't have happened if everyone had MIITO as their go-to tea tool.
I contacted Jasmina Grase, Co-Founder of MIITO to explain more behind their revolutionary creation.
What was the inspiration behind creating MIITO?
Nils and I are very critical towards any product that takes up space in our kitchen. An electric kettle was one of few that we took for granted as part of the kitchen, never really questioning its purpose. While researching electric kettles, we noticed that there was a major design flaw in the majority of electric kettles: they are extremely wasteful! The minimum ml 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, therefore one wastes 50% of the energy. Layla 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". This quote was our key inspiration for designing MIITO.
MIITO is labelled as a kettle, but is it actually?
This is a tough question. When the microwave was invented, people didn’t know how to call it. They called it a small oven yet it was not an oven at all. We feel similar regarding MIITO. It is not a kettle but at the same time, it's the closest “relative” in the product category. Maybe eventually we will invent our own product category.
Did you design it to just replace the boring conventional kettle, or do you have more specific purposes in mind for its use?
With MIITO we set out to redesign the electric kettle from the ground up, asking the question: how can we change people’s habits of overfilling electric kettles in order to save energy. We simply wanted to improve the environment surrounding us.
I must know, what is the story behind the name Miito?
We chose MIITO for very rational reasons: the name is short, memorable and easy to pronounce in different languages. MIITO gives personality and a character to the product. Think of MIITO as your silent, friendly little kitchen helper who stays out of your way but is always waiting for you when you need it. MIITO is at home anywhere. Recently I read an article that 90% of parents regret the name they have chosen for their kid. Luckily with MIITO it is not the case, we still love the name and it has helped the team to care for it as it would be our common child :)
Lastly and most importantly, can you give any update when Miito will be available for purchase (or is that top secret)?
Unfortunately, hardware development takes time and many unexpected turns. We wouldn’t like to promise a date now, but meanwhile, the MIITO team has prepared more surprises.
Here at Tophat HQ, we love the potential impact of this essential and elegant device. Imagine one in every kitchen in the world. The worldwide energy saving possibilities are vast. Aside from this, it's simply beautiful.