Every now and again you come across an idea that is so original and at the same time so incredibly simple you can’t help but think: a) why didn’t I come up with this? b) why doesn’t this exist yet? and c) I need this. Nils Chudy’s revolutionary design for a new water kettle is such an idea. His graduation project at the Design Academy Eindhoven is a water kettle that only boils the water you need, as opposed to filling an entire pot and boiling it all for a tiny, tiny cup of tea (we’ve all been there).
Named Miito, this water cooker doesn’t just save you time, it also saves an enormous amount of energy. Last month, the idea won the Dutch James Dyson Award, and Chudy is now in the running to win the international award as well, which will be announced on the November 6th. If he does, he wants to use the prize money to bring his product to market as soon as possible. Give a warm welcome to your future water kettle:The Creators Project: Overfilling my water boiler is something I do daily, and yet I’ve never really been aware of the fact that I do.
Nils Chudy: The funny thing is that when I tell people about the idea, they always tell very enthusiastically that they do the same thing. I found an estimate that stated that around 60% of people overfill their water kettle, but I think it’s more along the lines of 90%. I mean, do you know anyone who makes the effort to fill an exact cup before pouring it into the water boiler? Most water boilers don’t even allow you to do that because they have a minimum of 500ml. It’s a major design flaw that’s never been addressed.
How did you come up with the idea to tackle that specific problem?
Actually, I started off with an entirely different approach. I wanted to know why water boilers always look so incredibly ugly. Every one of those things looks like some kind of high speed train, as if they’re some futuristic object that always needs a sense of movement in them. I started to research it a bit and quickly came across a far much more pressing issue: the fact that they’re extremely wasteful. In a TED-talk from 2013, Leyla Acaroglu calculates that the amount of energy that’s being wasted by overfilling water kettles in England in one day, is enough the light all of the street lights in the country for a night. I decided to take it up to fix that problem. By designing something that doesn’t force people to change their behavior, but makes it so easy you don’t even realize your behavior has changed.
How does the Miito work?
Miito consists of two different parts: the induction base – the black bottom part – and the metal rod – the part you can move freely. When the rod is on the base, the device is turned off. As soon as you take the rod up and place it above the base in a cup of water, the base detects that the rod is nearby and starts heating it. That heating goes wirelessly through the same technology you can find in induction stoves today. When the water is boiled, you take the rod out of the water and place it back on the base, and the automatically device switches off again. That’s it. It doesn’t even have an on/off-button. And the best thing is you can keep using all your favorite cups or glasses.
When do you think the Miito will become available? And what will its price be? As for the pricing I think the Miito will be somewhere in the higher price segment of water boilers, but I can’t really state any concrete prices yet. I am now deciding whether to work together with a bigger manufacturer, or begin my own start up and produce it myself. The idea is patented so that’s all taken care off. My dream now is to get this product in stores as soon as possible. That’s why the Design Academy Graduation Show and the James Dyson Award are really exciting moments for me, as it will be the first time I can show my invention to the public. I want to show people that Miito deserves a place in the kitchen.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed, Nils.
For more information about Miito, visit Miito.de .
This interview is part of a series about the designers who graduate this year at the Design Academy Eindhoven . During the Dutch Design Week (18 t/m 26 oktober) all graduation project will be on show at the Graduation Show 2014 in the Witte Dame in Eindhoven.