In which an English technologist livetweets 11 hours of trying to make tea with a "smart" kettle

Mark Rittman is a "BI, DW & Big Data specialist, Oracle ACE Director" who dabbles in home automation and smart appliances: he spent 11 hilarious hours locked in an epic struggle with a wifi-equipped smart kettle, trying to get it to heat water for a cup of tea, livetweeting the battle.

The root of the problem seems to be Rittman's attempt to integrate his kettle with his other automation systems, "hacking together" a solution, but there were a series of hilarious and dismally familiar side-issues that made his debugging problem infinitely harder.

It started with his wifi access point resetting itself, then the kettle's flaky wifi connectivity refused to accept data from the hub (though it claimed periodically to be connected to it). The kettle also periodically insisted on "mandatory recalibration," which seems to have knocked it off the network.

But then things got weird. The excellent Internet of Shit Twitter account linked to Rittman's struggles, which sent enough people to his online presence that it clobbered the home servers he kept in his garage, saturating his network and preventing his Amazon Echo from connecting to the mothership.

Finally, the kettle started to integrate with the Echo, allowing him to use voice controls to boil water — but then his smart lightbulbs demanded a mandatory update and plunged the house into darkness while it downloaded and installed.

A note to commenters, please try to come up with something more original than, "Why bother with a smart kettle?" The obvious answer is "Tea, Earl Grey, hot."

English man spends 11 hours trying to make cup of tea with Wi-Fi kettle
[Bonnie Malkin/The Guardian]