We are Innovate UK competition winners!

Innovate UK is offering small and micro businesses a share of up to £30 million in grants alongside tailored business support delivered by Innovate UK EDGE.  – gov.uk

We are proud to announce we have been successful in obtaining a grant from the government to further progress our Kettle Companion project.

See the answers to questions from Innovate UK below!

What is the problem you wish to solve and why is your proposed approach a good and innovative solution?

Kettle Companion is an assisted living product, which helps those who live apart to stay connected, by illuminating a miniature kettle in a home when a loved one activates their kettle at their home. This is signalled through a smart monitoring plug and communicated via Wi-Fi to a paired model “Kettle Companion” in the other home. Additionally, if there is a change in pattern of use, for instance, an elderly parent has not had their habitual morning cup of tea by the usual time, the paired Kettle Companion will illuminate red. A text message alert can also be sent to the owner of the appliance, prompting them to check their loved one is well. Kettle Companion is an Internet of Things (IoT) project that utilises the very latest software and hardware techniques to deliver a simple idea reliably and affordably.

While it is only at a prototype stage, with further development needed to make it into a full product, it has been released to consumers as a trial version.

Kettle Companion is a direct consumer product marketed to family and friends seeking reassurance about the wellbeing of loved ones. Exploring its more official use will be part of the funded project.

Kettle Companion is different

Firstly, it relays the information in an easily understandable way, the glow of a kettle. It connects initially through a human connection to light and sympathy of routine rather than raw data. Data is available, but is subsidiary to the visceral experience. Secondly, it is designed for much easier set-up than competitors. It will use traditional 2G, Cat M and NB IoT to automatically choose/set-up the best low power connectivity without need for manual set up. To work in an informal Social Care setting, these products and services need to be designed for the average person rather than professionals used to analysing data from advanced sensors.

Other solutions are by their all encompassing nature, and reliance on expertise to monitor, necessarily expensive. The Kettle Companion prototype pack is just £50. The expanded version will be a similar price. During this project it will be improved to be even more usable and friendly, but moving away from Commercial Off the Shelf components to specially made will bring down the manufacture price.

The Kettle Companion improves health outcomes as those concerned about friends and family more ably provide support to maintain the health and independence of potentially vulnerable people. This fits with the NHS Long Term Plan’s emphasis on supported self management. Kettle Companion is explicitly a Tech for Good project. It is the application of the most advanced IoT techniques to help older people live independently for longer.

It is anticipated that Kettle Companion is the first of many such products. Profits will be reinvested in expanding the range. Current Competitors solutions are designed as interlinked sets and sensors and analytical techniques designed to be interpreted by professionals. Kettle Companion starts at a cheap and understandable single product. However, we intend to grow the elements that can be added, while crucially preserving the immediacy and focus on the natural rhythms of life. The connection needs to feel natural and spontaneous, rather than ‘monitoring’. User consultation shows older people are resistant to being ‘spied on’ but like feeling part of their families and friend’s lives.

As always, we will update our blog when we have more news on any of our projects.

If you’re interested in getting a Kettle Companion for yourself, visit our site here:


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