The $637 (£499 in the UK, roughly AU$840 in Australia) Millo is billed as a smart, ultraportable machine that's battery powered and built to create single servings of blended food wherever you go. The Millo's unconventional motor and blade system are spun with magnets, so the machine supposedly mixes quietly. Since this design has fewer parts, the Millo should be easy to clean and not make a mess either. Another bonus, its blending jar is completely hand washable, and also dishwasher safe.
Typical blenders are loud. A lot of motor power escapes these machines as wasted energy in the form of heat, vibration and noise. Apparently this won't happen with the Millo. Its design has more in common with sleek maglev bullet trains than traditional blenders that rattle like rickety subway cars.
Instead of the common interlocking mechanical gear design, a staple of blenders, the Millo uses magnets to transfer friction-free rotational force to its blades. As a result of a more efficient drivetrain, the Millo should waste less energy.
Engineers of the the Millo go so far as to call the system the "air drive" because the machine uses a brushless electric motor paired with a magnetic coupler. This type of engine has primary moving parts (stator and rotor) that don't physically connect, and sit with an air gap between them. Magnetic force both locks the Millo's cup in place (inverted on the blender base) and exerts torque on the blade array without actually touching it.
The Millo's designers envision the device to serve blended drinks not just for the road but on the road. A rechargeable battery onboard the Millo supplies enough electrical juice for up to ten blends on a single charge. When an AC outlet is within reach you can run the Millo on wall power as well.
In another interesting twist, the Millo won't have a screen or display. Instead Millo owners can command the blender via their phones and mobile app via the appliance's Bluetooth connection. Within the application you'll also be able to access multiple blend recipes or create your own.
When your handset isn't handy the top of Millo's disc-shaped base functions as touch control as well. A ring of multicolor LEDs here will also glow in various hues to communicate the blender's current status.
The full retail price of the Millo blender is a steep $637 (£499 in the UK, roughly AU$840 in Australia) but early-bird backers of the device's Kickstarter project can reserve a unit for $382 (£200, $501 ASD). The first production run of the machines (1,000 in all) is slated to ship by March 2018.
Still, I'm skeptical of the Millo's chances for success. I feel this way about most crowdfunded gizmos, doubly so for one this expensive. The Arist coffee maker and the Coolest Cooler are examples of just how tough it is to bring a new product to life.
Also consider appliances that whip up individual portions, like the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go, cost as little as $40. Sure, they aren't pretty and create a racket, but they work just fine. If you feel the need to splurge, try the $90 Nutri Ninja. It might be small and loud, but it blends with almost as much power as a premium Vitamix or Blendtec machine. For many that fits the bill just fine.