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back to article Wanna put your toaster and fridge online? Over to you, Ofcom

A blueprint for connecting up toasters, kettles and toys, and popping them onto the internet, has landed on the desk of the UK watchdog Ofcom. Version 1 of Weightless SIG's specification describes how devices can comfortably communicate over White Space - a collection of unused gaps in the radio spectrum. Gadgets can access an …

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N2

yes, but

I can see the point of a fridge that orders or warns of low stocks, essential items - white wine or beer.

But what is the point of connecting a toaster to the Internet - a new perversion perhaps?

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Re: yes, but

The Twitter Toaster!

#MakingToastRightNow

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Silver badge

Re: yes, but

"But what is the point of connecting a toaster to the Internet - a new perversion perhaps?"

They have a plan.

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Bronze badge

Re: yes, but

I suppose you could brand your toast with images of cats.

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Red Dwarf

Anybody want some toast?

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Re: Red Dwarf

I'm a waffle man.

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Re: Red Dwarf

"...until he [Talkie Toaster] was involved in an 'accident' involving Lister and a 14lb lump hammer"

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Thumb Up

Re: Red Dwarf

"smoke me a kipper"

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Re: Red Dwarf

That was no accident! That was first-degree toastercide!

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Silver badge

Wanna put your toaster and fridge online?

No.

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Re: Wanna put your toaster and fridge online?

Well if I could tell the fridge what to get out of the freezer and defrost before I got home...

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FAIL

ZigBee IP has all that and more

With ZigBee IP, we already have a IPv6 compatible, worldwide available, wireless machine-to-machine communication protocol with all the benefits of SIG's specs (low power, long battery life etc) but also some more: open specs, big alliance of industry partners behind etc. Just that: ZigBee IP is not just a spec, theres also at least 5 silicon fabs (Texas Instrument and Silicon Labs come to mind) which ship eval boards today.

I'd say, you're about 3 years late with that tech, guys.

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Mushroom

What?

What is the obession with everything having to be online and interconnected? There is no point in connecting a toaster to anything other than a plug socket and a slice of bread.

My toaster works just fine as it is. It doesn't required patches, upgrades or have compatibility issues (other than needing to cut a bagel in half) and has a very friendly user interface of "Only heat the bread" / "Toast the bread" / "Send the bread to Hell".

Will they soon be wirelessly integrating my boxer shorts with my mobile so shortly after I've farted I could get a text saying "I'm sorry Sir, but it appears you've followed through"?

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Black Helicopters

Re: What?

Will they soon be wirelessly integrating my boxer shorts with my mobile so shortly after I've farted I could get a text saying "I'm sorry Sir, but it appears you've followed through"?

And then Facebook will send you ads for a clean underwear delivery service.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What? @Shasta McNasty

"What is the obession with everything having to be online and interconnected? There is no point in connecting a toaster to anything other than a plug socket and a slice of bread."

I thinks it harks back to the days when computing students wired their college campus Coke machines into the net so they wouldn't have to risk walking down all the way across the building and finding out i) There's only Diet! and ii) I've just done some exercise!

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Re: What? @Shasta McNasty

>What is the obsession with everything having to be online and interconnected?

The argument for the fridges being connected is that they could be instructed to turn itself off during events such as the proverbial "millions of kettles put on during the Coronation Street advert break", thus reducing the load on the National Grid. The thermal mass of a fridge or freezer is such that being turned off for five minute would not result in any appreciable change in temperature.

Most of the time the grid functions well below its maximum capacity, and only approaches it for short peaks. Which means it has to be engineered to cope with loads that are rarely required. To cope with spikes in demand, things such as gas turbine generators have long been used, since a conventional power station can't react quickly enough to meet them.

Of course there are security concerns, but having simple measure in the end device - such as only responding to power-off commands for ten minutes in any hour, for example - would go a long way to limit any malicious intent.

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Re: What? @Shasta McNasty

Oh, and the terminally forgetful or OCD would like the reassurance of confirming that they have indeed turned off the iron, as they are en route to their holiday.

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Re: What? @Shasta McNasty

So now my toaster also has to have a LCD display, or a HAL-like voice to say "I'm sorry Dave, Corrie break in 5 seconds. I'll do your toast in 4 minutes and 15 seconds".

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Black Helicopters

coming soon

Stuxnet for Toastgroups!

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Bronze badge

Surely a late April Fool!

"We're told Weightless SIG's spec is designed to work on cheap and simple electronics, and offers unprecedented battery life"

Like to see it work on the typical cheap and simple toaster available in any hardware store today! and in any case who has a battery operated toaster?

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Devil

Can I put my Ideal Domestic online?

Then I could tell it to put another shovel-full of coke on.

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ZigBee and Weightless - Different deployment models

Interesting difference in philosophy between these two approaches. As I understand it ZigBee is generally based on an 'in home' hub providing a gateway via your home broadband router, whereas" Weightless" communicates wirelessly with some more remote base station - for example down the street or in the middle of a town.

ZigBee is widely available in a range of devices, and would be very easy and cheap to extend to applications like remote meter reading, but requires the home router to be functioning so could not be universally deployed. Weightless is much earlier in the development process and needs external base-stations to be deployed, more costly, but eliminates dependency on the home router.

It will be interesting to see which is taken up, and how consumers react to the different operating models.

P.S. I have no connection with either Weightless or ZigBee

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Terminator

Oh no - it's all coming true...

...toasters will fight back on command! Time to start training some guinea pigs to save the day.

G-Force: http://www.imdb.co.uk/title/tt0436339/

"A specially trained squad of guinea pigs is dispatched to stop a diabolical billionaire, who plans to taking over the world with household appliances."

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Boffin

Nice picture...

...but a shame that the location has been inaccurately described.

Clue: it's in Churchill House.

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Boffin

The dream of HTCPCP come true!

Finally, a use for the Hypertext Coffee Pot Control Protocol! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper_Text_Coffee_Pot_Control_Protocol)

Substituting with wife/husband/colleague/office skivvy/gullible "mate"/minion is no comparison to a proper, 100% compliant implementation of HTCPCP.

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FAIL

Once again...

...just becuase you CAN do something doesn't mean you should.

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