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Touch&Turn: clever cooking solution for the blind

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November 30, 2009

Touch&Turn cooking system remains cool to the touch and has a user-friendly control panel

Touch&Turn cooking system remains cool to the touch and has a user-friendly control panel

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Whilst cooking is not exactly a risk-taking activity, the kitchen is not without its hazards - think open flames, red-hot pan handles and spluttering stews. So imagine how difficult preparing and cooking a meal might be for the blind and visually-impaired. A new cooking concept could provide a solution - the Touch&Turn is a cool-to-the-touch cooking pot that sits on a simple, user-friendly control panel and is designed to make cooking an easier and safer experience.

Developed in cooperation with the RNIB and Action for Blind People, the concept was designed to eliminate some of the typical problems that occur when using traditional stovetops and cookware such as not knowing what temperature the hotplate is set to and not knowing which way the handles are pointing.

The stand-out features of the design are that it remains cool to the touch and has a tactile, intuitive user interface that allows for easy orientation of the pot with the braille-like temperature marks on the cooking surface.

The Touch&Turn was designed by Menno Kroezen, a Dutch designer and graduate from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, UK and the Design Academy Eindhoven, in the Netherlands. The design won the Helen Hamlyn Design Award in the Helen Hamlyn Design Awards held by the Royal College of Art this year. According to the judges: "Touch&Turn is a simple, inclusive, safe and non-stigmatizing solution based on strong user research."

It also took out the Technology Strategy Board Award for Independent Living in the same competition where it was praised as a “thoroughly well-resolved project that uses both materials and induction technology in an innovative way."

Whilst this design is still in the project stage, the concept and possibility of other applications in the kitchen and workplace make it exciting - particularly as it would give blind and visually-impaired people more independence whilst cooking.

See Menno Kroezen and Coroflot for more information on current projects.

Via Design Boom and Helen Hamblyn Centre.

Tags
4 Comments

cool stuff...

Tuba Mansoor
30th November, 2009 @ 11:13 pm PST

Humph! What a wildly over exaggerated claim this is by the maker and by the reviewer. Please do not forget the company wants to sell it and the reviewer knows only what he has been told about blind cooks; obviously he knows little about how blind persons manage. Here are some facts. I had my lovely Thanksgiving dinner last week at the home of a totally blind cook. She used the normal equipment anyone would to make her splendid traditional meal; that is, the oven for the turkey and stuffing, the burners for the pots, and the microwave for some reheatable gifts from her guests. Since 1975, I have eaten many meals prepared by blind cooks in states all over the USA and none of these blind people are waiting around for this invention in order to serve their families, their guests, or themselves. None of them have been injured any more or with any more frequency than any sighted cook might be—no frantic runs to a hospital emergency ward. FYI, There are easy to learn methods blind cooks use to know how to safely use gas stoves, electric stoves, microwaves, backyard grills and fireplaces, convention ovens, frying pans, soup pots, turkey roasters, doughnut fryers, kitchen aids, graters, electric blenders, Ginzu knives, WHATEVER we sighted cooks have in our kitchens.

Those blind people who this reviewer thinks must need a special device in order to safely cook in one pot, how does he think they are eating before they buy this invention? I can understand the RNIB in Great Britain wanting this for newly blind cooks, who have not yet learned the techniques, but “no” this invention is not the perfect device for blind cooks. I hope RNIB puts effort into teaching folks the techniques so the whole kitchen is open to them, not just one stovetop pot, and I hope RNIB is not making a self-fullfilling proficy by telling the newly blind, often elderly folks, (folks that have cooked in ordinary equipment all their lives) that they will only be safe cooking in one pot on this invention. Many of the techniques are so simple, one show-and-tell is all that is needed. Indeed, Huummphh!

Lorraine At Home
1st December, 2009 @ 06:31 am PST

This will be excellent for my son with Autism too. All the abilities with minimal risks.

KennyG
1st December, 2009 @ 09:26 am PST

I am happy Companies are looking into the needs of blind people. This is what I always advocate,SCIENCE TO SERVE SOCIETY - SOCIETY TO SUPPORT SCIENCE.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Dr.A.Jagadeesh
24th April, 2010 @ 12:27 am PDT
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