Touch&Turn: clever cooking solution for the blind
By Jude Garvey
November 30, 2009
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.