Last week, I wrote about the GoSun Sport stove, which has earned itself a prestigious position on my shopping list (a shopping list that will only keep getting longer. Boo). Being a wannabe entrepreneur myself, I have found it a real chore to make my own offerings – this blog and my CSR Bookshelf, now expanded to the CSR Learner’s Corner – be known. As such, I thought it a good idea to contribute to the business of making businesses known – whether they are known or not so much – and I’ll try to feature an innovative product or service every Thursday evening.
Now, to business. (Heh.) Let’s have a little visualization experience here.
First, imagine that you are a slow eater, like me – or you simply do not find sense in consuming your meal with haste. Especially when you are dining with family or friends and become the life of the party by engaging them all in a long story about Mrs. P. or the new shopping complex you were fortunate to stop by the previous day. You find, to your dismay, that you had waited too long for your very hot soup to warm down a little, and it now tastes horrible cold unless you send it to the kitchens to reheat.
Or the same situation, but after supper, and over coffee.
Next, imagine that you are heating water in your electric kettle for, say, your bedtime tea. To be effective and safe, most kettles have a minimum and a maximum limit of water, respectively, that can be placed inside while boiling. You fill the kettle somewhere midway between the two limits, and sit back and relax with your favorite book (or favorite iPad game) while the water boils away cheerfully. Once it’s done, you fill your teapot of loose-leaf tea or mug-with-teabag, and drink away.
Chances are likely that you don’t finish all the water in the kettle, and the next morning, it would already have cooled down to room temperature. You either drink it (which is good) or toss it out (since re-heating previously-heated water makes it taste bland – but is not harmful for us as we thought).
Pretty annoying, isn’t it?
Not only that, but there is one thing in common for both situations: our actions, intentional or not, can cause a need to use up extra energy. As of July 2013, around 75% of households in the United Kingdom boiled more water than they needed, representing about 68 million GBP a year in aggregate.
Now, imagine a third scenario. You are holding in your hands a solution to these two potential problems: an innovative solution that lets you not only heat (or reheat) your liquid foods or drinks without needing to switch on a stove again (or the microwave oven, for that matter, if the container is microwave-safe) – thereby saving energy and time – but also heat only the amount you will be actually consuming – thereby saving up on resources.
Say hello to Miito.
A German innovation by Nils Chudy and Jasmina Grase (Chudy and Grase) that has won the National James Dyson Award and was shortlisted for the international one, Miito is a sensation for environmentalists who like to eat and drink at home. Here’s how it works: you lift the rod from the base, which works similarly to an induction cooker, at which point Miito goes into standby mode. You put your cup, glass, or bowl of liquid on top of the base and put the rod in it. The magic starts here: the standby mode activates a current that detects the ferrous (iron) material of the induction plate, and with the immersion into the liquid, the full induction power is activated and the induction plate of the rod is heated up. This, in turn, allows your food or drink – be it water, tea, coffee, milk, or even soup – to heat up to boiling point. Once this has been achieved, the smart device recognizes its mission is complete, and the rod shifts back into standby mode. Replacing it on top of the base switches it off.
What’s more, the problem we encounter with kettles isn’t a problem at all for Miito. Its form minimizes calcification, so there won’t be any limestone nor will there be a need to undergo the tedious chore of descaling. It makes Miito both cleaner (and easier to clean) and quieter than standard kettles.
When I first saw this on BuzzFeed, I really thought it was a stirring rod-cum-heater, meaning I thought I could stir my powdered drink while heating it at the same time. It’s a silly concept, and I think it wouldn’t work very well in my favor, as I think it would cause the heating to become slower and less effective (which goes against the point). But maybe, just maybe, it would be possible to use as a stirring rod (the base is a flat disk, however, so unless your vessel is wide, I don’t think so) after boiling. (Allow me to dream on, it’s free.)
Although it isn’t available on the market yet and is still in development, I’m expecting I’m going to have a lot of fun with this baby. Although we have a large electric kettle at home that we use for all purposes (and manage to refill regularly), for one, it is no longer at boiling point due to its “Keep Warm” mode – and, again, there is no sense in reboiling it for a nice cuppa because that cuppa will not taste as good. I can also imagine reheating my sinigang as by the time I get to the last 15% of the soup, it has already gone cold, always. And all this without the hassle of needing to get out a pot or pan and switching on our gas stove again – it saves up not only on fuel costs, but also on water and soap costs because everything is done right in the bowl; the only additional cost would be the cleaning of the rod, and compared to a pot, that’s a lot saved up.