Week 13 Outside of Class


Gabi: Induction cooking heats a cooking vessel by magnetic induction, instead of by thermal conduction from a flame, or an electrical heating element. … For nearly all models of induction cooktops, a cooking vessel must be made of, or contain, a ferromagnetic metal such as cast iron or some stainless steels.” Some of the advantages of induction cooking include instant heat (water boils much quicker), it will only heat the cookware and not the whole stovetop (much more efficient), safe for children (when you lift a pot the burner automatically shuts off and even if you touch it seconds after you will not burn yourself), food cannot get cooked on to the surface because the surface does not get hot (easy to clean), it also looks very nice and clean. Some bad parts about it, though, include the fact that they are expensive. Also, you don’t actually necessarily need to re-buy all of your pans, you just have to make sure a magnet will magnetize to the bottom of them. If it will, then those pots and pans will work on the induction. Also, you won’t be able to cook if the power is out.

Alyssa: During research, I also found that induction cooktops are much more energy efficient.  According to this blog post, induction cooktops are “84% efficient at energy transfer, vs. 74% for a smooth top electric unit,” meaning the heat efficiency is similar to that of a gas cooktop.  The blog post also states that induction cooktops are “90% efficient with power use, using 2.8 kW to deliver 2.52 kW” (for comparison: electric coils are 55% efficient and use 2.0 kW to deliver 1.1 kW; gas is 50% efficient and uses 3.5 kW to generate 1.75 kW). I also found that induction cooktops generate a lot less waste.  Users will not have to turn on a vent fan or open a window like users with electric/gas stoves will, because there will not be as much excess heat.

Megan: Since the prompt our project is based off of is to encourage lifelong learning, it is important to understand what the proven benefits are to learning how to cook. In terms of social status, people who can cook are seen as being more stable than those who are not. They can also give homemade gifts which are seen as more personal and thoughtful. For personal gains, learning/knowing how to cook can increase your self-esteem and make you feel more valuable. There is a sense of independence and self-sufficiency that goes along with it. Also, it allows you to grow relationships with those around you if you’re cooking with someone else. The basic skills that can be reinforced from cooking are following directions, reading, math, and responsibility (for example, handling knifes). This is particularly easier to teach in children since they are still learning and growing. In general, learning how to cook with improve your health and lifestyle. This study shows that people who cook most of their meals eat less calories per day than those who frequently eat out. Not only that but they also eat less eating out due to not regularly overeating. Lastly in terms of finances, cooking your own food saves money. In this study, it has been proven that the cost of food prepared at home dropped by 0.5% whereas the price of eating out increased by 2.7%. Even though the slight drop in food prices helped the restaurant too, they are taking into account the labor that goes into making the food, thus increasing the price. (Benefit sources: Source 1 & Source 2).

Erica: I did some research on both the benefits of cooking and information on induction cooking, so some of my research may overlap with everyone else’s. As far as benefits of cooking, here are the main points I found:

  • Source of pride and self-sufficiency
  • Develop a more open mind towards different tastes and cultures
  • Builds confidence
  • Learn about nutrition
  • Brings people of all ages closer together

“You will get to know your children, and they you, more deeply when you cook with them…you will share recipes, techniques and anecdotes that you learned at the elbows of mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers long gone.”

I also found other skills people can learn by cooking:

  • Mathematics (numbers, geometry, measurements, etc.)
  • Language skills (learn new words)
  • Science (liquid, solid, gas, reactions, etc.)
  • Physical skills (fine motor skills, five senses)
  • Emotional and social development (communication, sharing, etc.)

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

For my research on induction cooktops, I first spoke to my dad because he does a lot of appliance installations. He recommended that I look into Gaggenau and Thermador induction cooktops because they are the best on the market right now. Tons of other brands, including Bosch, Wolf, and Miele, sell induction cooktops but I stuck to researching those two for the time being.

This review compared Wolf and Gaggenau cooktops and noted that “Wolf has touchpad controls where the Gaggenau unit has a magnetic knob that controls the setting. This knob can be taken off the cooktop and placed in a drawer for a clean sleek look.”

This reminded my of Windows’ Surface Book Dial that we saw in class. I thought this was an interesting feature with the potential benefit of being not only more sleek, but also more sanitary.

Gaggenau Induction Cooktop    
Microsoft Surface Book

Ideas (based on research)

Gabi: could sell magnetic pads on side to stick to bottom of any pot so they work on induction (hypothetically), also- using part of the main area as a mixing area would make sense- the touch pad would know that it isn’t meant to heat the mixing bowl because it might not be magnetic (something to that effect).

Alyssa: I really like all of Gabi’s ideas based on the research, and I think the idea of the magnetic pads for the pots is a really good idea.  Related to Gabi’s idea about the cooktop being able to sense what kind of pot is on the surface, this reminded me a lot of the tabletop touch screens and pen technology at the Cooper Hewitt museum in New York, and the Connected Worlds interactive installation at the 2016 Maker Faire.  If you look at the links, Cooper Hewitt has these pens that touch a specific mark on the wall to access information, and the Connected Worlds installation has these “logs” that create paths for the “water” in the installation to follow.  The water on the screens of the installation isn’t affected by people standing in the way of the path, yet when the logs are placed in different areas of the screen, the paths change.  We could look more into this kind of technology for what Gabi mentions above – some kind of sensor in the stovetop would recognize when something is a pan and does need to be heated, vs. when something is a mixing bowl (or if the user is leaning on the counter, placed something on the counter, etc.) and should not be heated up.  I think Connected Worlds is a really great example to look at as well because it is completely gesture-based, and we could look into some of the gestures and movements the users make if we consider creating some kind of “screen” interaction.

Megan: Thinking of how this would start (and basing off of Alyssa’s and Gabi’s ideas), there could be a hand-size sensor on one of the corners of the induction surface you just simply need to swipe in any way to turn the system on so it is more gestured based. If you’re looking for a recipe to try, the countertop could show suggested foods based on what you have made before, a search feature, or previously made recipes. If you don’t want to do any recipes, you could simply place down a pot/pan/bowl and the countertop will sense you are making something on your own. If you remove everything, it will bring back the recipe display.

Erica: To incorporate more of the lifelong learning aspect, perhaps there could be a “performance review” at the end of your cooking session to review what new skills you’ve learned and track your “progress” (maybe you used a few new ingredients that week or became more proficient in cutting, etc.) I was also thinking that you could set goals and input your age before each cooking session to tailor your session to specific goals and skills you want to improve (for example, you might want less of a focus on technical skills for young kids and more advanced skills for young adults).



We also worked on the Determining Project Focus worksheet from class on Monday:

  • What is the problem?
    • People want to learn how to cook
    • People want to improve their cooking
  • What is the context and interaction (user, place, position)?
    • User: anyone who wants to learn to cook
    • Place: kitchen
    • Position: countertop, standing
  • What are the types of information presented (audio, written, visual content)?
    • This interface would incorporate audio and visual cues for users
    • What info does the user need: some kind of sensor on their pots and pans, and/or stovetop
    • What sequence do we see things: we’d see information depending on what is on the countertop
    • How are you going to use hide and reveal: we will hide any information that doesn’t relate to what is on the countertop, and reveal things that are relevant when appropriate
  • What are the possible future technologies?
    • Some kind of tastebud scanner technology
    • A scanner technology that would tell users when raw meat residue is left on countertops
    • Some kind of technology to help users with cutting techniques
    • Induction cooktop technologies


This week outside of class we were asked to do some idea sketches for our futuristic learning for life cooking interface. Here were some of our ideas:


Laser guide that lays on top of food to show you where to cut it (light blue lines on the carrot). A laser fill line in pots to show you how high to fill it. Ingredients placed on counter are highlighted it shows you what it is (white potatoes) and how much it weighs (18.3 oz)
Contaminant detector (it’s on the floor but if we’re just doing a board on the counter then it would only detect contaminants on the counter.) Each station (cooking, prep, etc) could be color coded. The surface also tells you the temperature that something is cooking and has a little circle next to each pan/pot to show you how close it is to being done cooking. Hologram with current instructions on it
Hologram where you can select a recipe by swiping through “pages”and each page has a recipe with basic info on it (ingredients, dietary restrictions, prep/cook times, etc.)


1. In my first sketch, I wanted to show that I think it would be interesting if the cooktop was turned on by some kind of touch-sensor (think Windows 8 computers and how they had that photo-touch password screen instead of a typed password).  I also thought that when you turned the cooktop on, that some kind of sensor would appear and recognize/identify everything that was on the counter. 2. In my second sketch, I remembered seeing on everyone’s research that the induction cooktops use magnetized technology to heat pots, so I figured maybe some kind of magnetized technology could also be used to help users cut properly (think like how magnets with the same poles facing each other will push away)



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