The new Revolution toaster, which the company says will ship on May 1st, not only has the same recognizable touchscreen and proprietary and patented InstaGLO heating technology that powers the first generation toaster (and the new Macrowave oven), but it will be the company’s first Internet-connected edition.
So, why add Wi-Fi to a toaster? According to Sean Robbins, Revolution’s head of marketing, one obvious reason is to enable over-the-air feature rollouts and improvements to the product’s heating technology. However, perhaps the most significant reason relates to the role a toaster plays in a toast-lover’s daily routine.
“People who love to toast, it’s kind of a daily ritual for them,” said Robbins. “So we talked to our best customers and asked them what would you love to have on the home screen. We heard things related to what their daily routine is. ‘I want to start my day and make my toast, and I wonder what the weather is that day.’”
According to Robbins, the Revolution connected toaster is also the first to get the green light from UL. The product safety standard company, well-recognized for its certification stamp of approval, had previously frowned upon Internet-connected toasters. This is because adding connectivity to a product with an open heating element was considered a significant safety concern. Because of this, Robbins says that owners of their new toaster still won’t be able to remotely control the heating element, but they will have the comfort (and perhaps more importantly, retailers will have the comfort) that UL says this thing is safe.
While the Internet-connected toaster has become something of an Internet meme, often used to ridicule over-engineered products and an Internet of Things gone awry, there have been relatively few attempts to add connectivity to toasters. While some have taken a swing (and the tech press commentators have reacted predictably), the reality is since Revolution essentially kickstarted the whole high-end touchscreen toaster craze (there are a bunch of copycats on Amazon now) and has built a loyal customer base for its tech-enabled toaster, my guess is that they’ll likely find a receptive audience for those who also want their toaster to tell them whether they should bundle up for the day.
You can watch my interview with Robbins below.