Do we really need a $340 Wi-Fi toaster?  – TechCrunch

If you have heard of Tineco, probably because the 24-year-old company has been making vacuums and hair dryers for a hot minute. The company’s next product is a $339 toaster that connects to your Wi-Fi network and can toast your toast with science and precision, and it makes me wonder if there’s a device in our house that’s safe from the Internet’s wave of everything. It’s not a good sign when I get a PR pitch for a company and my first thought is this account specified on Twitter will have a field day with it.

In mid-September, Tineco’s Toasty One goes on sale. The company even trademarks some of its technology (IntelliHeat™ USPTO 97453909I just know he was curious) to show how much business means in the universe of the perfect toast.

“No two slices should be the same, which means you can adjust the toast individually for each slot. Most importantly, it means you no longer have to worry about ‘who’s first’ – two people can make their perfect toast at the same time,” the company wrote, creating a $340 solution to a $0.22 problem. “IntelliHeat™ technology also lets you save up to 10 toasting preferences so the whole family can get the toast they want at the touch of a button.”

In a world where $35 buys a two-slice toaster with more than 7,000 customer ratings, averaging more than 4.5 stars on Amazon, this raises two questions: Why? and WTF? Sure, that $35 toaster isn’t going to remember the 10 preferences of everyone in your extended polyculture, but a $1 Sharpie and initials on the toaster itself is a tried and tested method for such preferences.

The problem I have with app-enabled kitchen appliances is that they add a layer of complexity that is unnecessary for the majority of people. Have a coffee maker spit out a fresh cup before crawling out of bed bleary-eyed? Sure. But toast? I have friends who have toasters that have been working for 15 years and when they break they will probably buy the exact same toaster again. And that makes sense, because it’s a fucking toaster.

As an aside, it seems the general consensus of the usable active life of the toaster is six to eight yearsso maybe the particular toaster is The Little Toaster That Could, but still.

I have a two question quiz for you:

  1. Is there any kind devices on your Wi-Fi network right now that are 15 years old?
  2. Are you expecting any kind of the devices currently on your Wi-Fi network still around 15 years from now?

I’m willing to bet that for the vast majority of you, the answer to both of these questions will be no. And the extension of that is – electronics (and especially electronics that are bolted to the side of a device that generates a lot of heat) just aren’t made to last that long. Technology moves forward even when the primary use of the product (making toast) does not.

We end up buying devices that are smarter than they need to be, with a reduced lifespan. Which in turn means not just more trash in landfills, but trash that has a bunch of electronics in it — which is notoriously difficult to separate and just adds more complexity to the recycling process.

I’m sure a toaster is the next best thing since sliced ​​bread, but let’s give the climate a thought or two, shall we?

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