Smarter, the United Kingdom based manufacturer of connected kitchen accessories, has revealed that it plans to release an app update that will enable Siri Shortcuts support for its current line of appliances. The company’s products include the iKettle 3.0, the Smarter FrigeCam, and the Smarter Coffee 2.0. Each appliance will be the first instances (that we are aware of), where Siri Shortcuts support will come directly from a manufacturer’s app for their respective product category.
Smarter’s Siri Shortcuts plan was revealed recently via small blurbs on the company’s website mentioning support for all of the major voice assistants. Release timing was then communicated via Twitter, when the company was questioned on the Siri mention, responding to an inquiry with “…we hope to have this released before the end of the month”. The company later clarified that Siri support would be coming via Siri Shortcuts, and not HomeKit, which is to be expected with the lack of appliance categories within HomeKit currently.
The iKettle, which debuted way back in 2013, has seen several iterations, with the most recent 3.0 model hitting the scene in late 2017. This would mark the first known instance of a kettle “natively” supporting Siri Shortcuts within its own app, although voice control has been available through Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant for a while. The iKettle comes in two attractive finishes, brushed stainless steel, and a limited edition gloss white and gold. While it is not known what functions will be available through Siri, the iKettle offers users features such as remote boiling, scheduling, and temperature adjustments through presets and manual settings.
The Smarter FridgeCam works just like it sounds, giving users an inside look at what is currently in their refrigerators. While the concept is nothing new, with large appliance manufacturers integrating cameras into their higher end refrigerators, a third-party aftermarket accessory is. Smarter’s justification for the device revolves around food waste, planning, and safety. We are certainly not sure how it will help with waste, we can see the appeal of being able to peak in while shopping for groceries to determine whether or not something is running low, or missing.
The safety aspect comes in the form of tracking expiration dates, although it is not quite clear as to what this process looks like, such as potentially being manually entered, or if the app can determine it based off of items entering the refrigerator. The company also touts the ability to automatically track and add items to and from the shopping carts of services such as Amazon, making shopping easier and faster.
Three forms of Siri Shortcuts support are shown off on the FridgeCam page, one of which is a pretty standard ability to add items to a shopping list. Another interaction is the ability to ask Siri just what is in the refrigerator at any given time, which sounds impressive, but it hinges on how much initial user input is required. The same caveat also applies to the ability to ask Siri “what is about to expire”, which would be pretty awesome if it was all figured automatically somehow.
The final accessory is the Smarter Coffee 2, which the company lists as giving users the ability to “brew coffee on your own terms”. Smart functions include switching between a filter and grinder mode, grind coarseness, remote brewing, scheduling, coffee strength adjustments, pre-heating, and warming time which keeps the coffee hot after its brewed. Voice assistant support, including Siri, is rather vague, with the lone example being shown just turns on and off the machine. The Coffee 2 comes in 3 color variants, red, white, and black, and all utilize a 2.4ghz Wi-Fi network connection.
The iKettle 3.0 is currently available directly from Smarter’s online store, and through retailers such as Best Buy for a retail price of $149.99 USD. The Smarter FridgeCam and Coffee 2 look to be U.K. exclusive for the time being, with retails prices of £99.00 and £179.00 respectively.
The Smarter 3.0 app is available on the App Store, and the update which adds support should arrive by the end of next week as the end of the month is drawing near, but timelines could potentially change according to app review times. What do you think of these connected products? Is Siri Shortcuts support enough to push you to pick one up, or will their high prices keep you away? Already have one and want to share your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter, @HomeKit_Hero.