We’ve all been in that catch-22 where we’re just too tired to roll out of bed to brew that hot beverage that will wake us up enough to get out of bed. Fortunately, technology’s here to help: Belkin has teamed up with Mr. Coffee to create a Wi-Fi-enabled coffee maker that you can control from your smartphone—which, presumably, is never more than an arm’s length away.
The $150 Mr. Coffee 10-Cup Smart Optimal Brew Coffeemaker with WeMo—which requires at least a cup of coffee before you can even try and say the entire name—lets you program brewing times in advance, up to a week’s worth, and allows you to monitor the process from afar via Belkin’s WeMo app. The monitoring lets you know just how far along in the brewing process your pot is, avoiding the risk of getting out of bed before the coffee’s ready, as well as letting you know when the filter or carafe need changing. You can even remotely adjust scheduling or brewing times from your smartphone, no matter where you are. Truly the era of technology-induced laziness is quickly approaching.
Home automation technology is nothing new, but Wi-Fi-enabled appliances—often grouped under the rubric of “the Internet of Things”—have only recently begun to hit the consumer mainstream in products like smart lightbulbs. Research firm Gartner estimates that there will be 4.9 billion connected “things” in use in 2015.
That said, bugs with Nest’s thermostat also show the danger of relying on too much “smart” technology. That’s one reason I think the Wi-Fi-enabled coffee maker hits the sweet spot—despite what coffee drinkers might tell you, going without your morning cup is not a life-threatening condition, unlike a thermostat that fails to turn on the heat in your home.
Now, I must confess my dirty little secret: I’m not a coffee drinker. But I root for the Wi-Fi-enabled coffee maker for two reasons: first, because it will make those in my life who love coffee happy; and second, because its success could encourage Belkin to team up with a company to make a Wi-Fi-enabled tea-brewer. (I’ve long had my eye on Breville’s One-Touch Tea Maker, a clever gadget that can lower and raise a basket containing loose tea to get the perfect cuppa. But now I may have to hold out for a model with Wi-Fi.)
If only technology could perfect the robot butler, to bring us our cup of Wi-Fi-brewed coffee once it’s made, we might never leave bed again.