Hey guys! Know I’ve not been blogging for a looong time… mainly because I’ve been busy working on projects at school and exams are around the corner. However, thought I should just put up a quick post about one of my projects, Recipease, a project I worked on as part of the CS3248: Design of Interactive Media module. What we did was create a multi-touch table that is supposed to show a concept of how major problems faced by people during the food preparation process can be reduced.
Before I say more, here is a video demonstration of our table.
Yup so that’s about it in short! Promise to update this post with more information later. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the project / engineering behind it, etc etc do feel free to either e-mail me or leave comments here. I promise to follow-up on it as soon as my exams are over!
And oh yea, do let me know what you think of it as well in terms of concept, interface and interaction design, functions, or even the actor! Thanks for watching! ^__^
Thanks for all the encouraging and positive comments guys! Really appreciate them. As promised, here is the follow-up with more information about the project.
Our assignment requirement is to take any existing electronic appliance or propose a new one that would solve a problem or make a house chore easier. The problem we set out to solve was that faced by users in the kitchen.
Before we built this, we performed some surveys and interviews to identify the common problems that caused people anxiety during both food preparation and cooking. Our user group consisted both of young adults and housewives, including both novice and expert cooks. Based on the list of problems gathered, we came up with 3 primary functions:
Use Case: Our primary use case is where a person, has some ingredients in his fridge but do not want to crack his head thinking what he can cook with them. He wants a system that can tell him what he can cook based on what he has or feels like eating (sometimes you may have fish and chicken but only feel like eating chicken).
1) Ingredient Recognition
Problem it solves:
- trouble of not recognizing what user has especially with ingredients user hardly purchase
- unsure of what user can cook with what he/she has
2) Recipe Recommendation
Problem it solves:
- saves trouble of thinking about what he can cook
- widens choice of recipes user can cook. Not limited to only what the user knows
- informs users of which ingredients are missing
- if user is cooking more than one dish, system notifies of whether there is enough for both dishes combined
3) Recipe Scaling
Problem it solves:
- most recipes available are based on the assumption that users are cooking for one diner. However, sometimes users throw parties/gatherings that require preparing a dish for more people.
- able to tell user whether he has enough for a gathering and if not, how much of which ingredient is missing
Our user testing of the table after it was built showed that this concept does help in reducing the anxieties users felt during food preparation and pre-cooking. Glad that those of you who have seen the video felt the same as well.
About the module
Got a couple of e-mails asking whether this module teaches students how to build a touch table. The answer is no, but in fact the professor (Prof Zhao ShengDong) made it better than that. What he did was he made the assignment very open-ended, with the only requirement being to come up with a concept that will make a house chore easier for a user. This can be a new electronic appliance or an improvement of an existing invention. It is totally up to students how they want to implement/show their idea. Hence you have students building touch tables, interactive screens that utilize the Wii mote and even remote controls for house appliances using the cell phone. In other words, this module does not teach or spoon feed you on how to do things but rather create an environment that encourages students to experiment. How much you learn depends on how much time and energy you invest into your idea. Having said that, Prof Zhao will be constantly keeping track of the progress of projects and is a great resource of how to go about your project and who to approach for further advice.
This is my crazy team who just can’t stop making me laugh while working throughout the project. Somehow we never fail to do something really silly which we’ll be stuck at for hours before suddenly encountering an “Eureka!” moment. Lots of silly things happened during video filming as well, like someone’s handphone ringing and ingredients rolling off the table.
Back row (from left) : Teong Leong, Joel a.k.a Kar Meng, Jeremy Wong
Front row (from left) : Me! , Yiyang
This was a really fun project which made me realize how fun research can potentially be. I used to shun away from it thinking it was for n3rds but came to realize it can turn out to be pretty cool especially if you’re working on a fun project within your scope of interest. Would really love to thank my Prof Zhao for making CS3248 a really fun module and encouraging us to go on with our ideas!
How to build a touch table?
Got a lot of questions about how my team built the touch table and all the various programs we used.
I’m currently in the process of writing a step by step tutorial on it and will upload it within the next 2-3 days! In the meantime, look out for it! ^_~
Update: The tutorial is done. Check it out here