State of the Art

Foodini

The Foodini 3D printer automates some of the cooking preparation process, by for instance, printing out individual ravioli instead of the cook having to make the dough and fill and assemble each individual piece themselves. It’s not replacing all the preparation required to make the meal, but it speeds up aspects of food preparation. FoodieFoodie1

Foodie is a revolutionary, interactive and physical medium for social communication and entertainment around food cooking and recipe sharing, which combines the virtual fantasy of digital food entertainment with the real-life edible food. It augments people’s current food practices and provides a new approach for playful interaction with food. By adding another dimension to the digital play, it allows people not only to create their exclusive recipe virtually, but also share and present to their remote partners in physical format.

Candyfab

CandyFab is another printing platform which uses a bed of sugar and a sintering tool to build 3D prototypes.

Cornucupia

Cornucopia’s Digital Gastronomy is the brainchild of two designers, Marcelo Coelho and Amit Zoran, who manifested the concept into three independent machines: the Digital Fabricator, the Robotic Chef and the Virtuoso Mixer. These devices convert food ingredients into meals without any manpower.

Literature Research

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We started off with a literature research of the existing problem space and the existing solutions in this domain!
These are some of the essential points that we extracted:

1. Because refrigeration and freezing require significant spacecraft resources, current NASA provisions consist solely of individually prepackaged shelf stable foods, processed with technologies that degrade the micronutrients in the foods.

2. The 3D printer will be able to create easily digestible food, which not only maintains the shape and taste of the real thing, but can also be fortified with specific nutrients.

3. US Army: 3D printing might soon be able to rescue soldiers from the unappetizing nightmare that is the traditional MRE, while also conserving resources. In ultrasonic agglomeration, high-frequency sound waves are projected at target particles, causing them to clump together. Careful modulation of the sound can be used to control how the fragmented food constituents bind together. As the technology advances, meals could be custom generated for each soldier. For example, if levels of vitamin D are low, the 3D-printed MRE might contain extra vitamin supplements.

4. In the case of the ChefJet, a sugary slurry is used to make tiny candies.

5. MakerBot uses a variety of plastics to build whatever you want.

6. Various social games are being played with family, friends, and even strangers, either locally or remotely, to establish or enhance friendships.

7. With advances in networking technology and the introduction of networked games, social gaming has gained its popularity. One of the top reasons why players like to play games is that it is a social activity that can be enjoyed with family and friends. Networked games overcame the barrier of distance, enabling real people to play against each other over large areas.

8. The specific characteristics of games of being persistent and collaborative lure millions of players worldwide into their virtual worlds.

9. Food activity has become a popular theme in the social entertainment industry. In reality, cooking can be entertaining, and eating is also a form of pleasurable experience.

10. Besides the various food social network sites emerged recently, a large percentage of digital games have also been developed around food activities to expand the fun with food, such as cook skills learning and practice, social sharing of recipes, food business, online diaries to record cooking and eating experience, etc.

11. Digital games like cake decoration contests, pizza shops, cookie baking and so on, allow people to creatively compose their own food in a virtual environment.

12. Specifically for food entertainment, the fundamental features of food, such as the rich varieties of texture, smell and taste, are missing in the digital environment, which could substantially decrease the realistic and emotional feeling while playing these games.

13. Preparing meals is a way of expressing creativity

14.  Food is not simply a source of nutrition, but is also, among others, central to the production of community life, a site for personal and shared reflection and story-telling.

15. Noticing the positive power and attractiveness of food, especially for young children, much recent work in the academic area has utilized food as facilitator, involving both the physical food and the digital representations of food to create playful interactions.

Answers to mini challenge 1

Answer 1.  Design thinking should include both the users and the non users.  As the reason for the usage and the acceptance of technology might vary because of  the psychology of the users, the design process of information technology, the quality of technology in the eyes of the users and cultural reasons[1]*.  So, If proper research is conducted taking  the above factor into account and creating proper persona for both the users and the non-users, then the acceptance levels of technology might change for the better.

The acceptance of any product or technology is guided mainly by  two factors; ease of use, and usefulness in terms of social influence and cognitive instrumental factors.[2]*

TAM

 

Complexity in new technologies such as personal computers create an element of uncertainty  in the minds of users, especially ones who are new to it. People form attitudes and intentions in the process of trying to learn to use the new technology prior to initiating efforts directed at using which may be ill-formed or lacking in conviction or else may occur only after preliminary arduous efforts to learn to use the technology, which might bring about a negative impact in the perception of usage[3]*.

*References: 1. http://arizona.openrepository.com/arizona/bitstream/10150/105584/1/AdArist96.pdf
2. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2634758
3.http://hum.sagepub.com/content/45/7/659.abstract

Answer 2: There is no doubt that information technology is changing very fast and now it’s ubiquitous in the lives of people across the globe. These technologies take many forms such as personal computers, smart phones, the internet, web and mobile phone applications, digital assistants, and cloud computing. In fact the list is growing constantly and new forms of these technologies are working their way into every aspect of daily life. In such situation, those (our older generation) who have spent their time in the age where the dependency on technology was less, their perception and the mental model of technology and its effects on their life is different.

So, for the young generation, who are acquainted with the rapid change in the technology, it is relatively easy for them to adapt as compared to our elder generation, where the rate of technology change was slow.

For ex: In India’s e-commerce market, The age-wise analysis revealed that 35% of online shoppers are aged between 18 years and 25 years, 55% between 26 years and 35 years, 8% in the age group of 36-45 years, while only 2% are in the age group of 45-60 years. Ref:

Answer 3: The Internet of Things (IoT) is a futuristic concept where everyday objects will be connected with each other via internet. Due to the ubiquitous nature of connected objects in the IoT, a large number of devices are expected to be connected to the Internet. According to ABI Research, more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (Internet of Everything) by 2020. Due to the pervasive nature of connectivity between the widely interspersed objects in our daily life, our perception of food as we know today will definitely take a turn. The “smartness” that we associate with the smart interfaces like laptops and mobile phones cannot be linked to the most vital component in our lives: food. One can definitely survive without technology, as adeptly demonstrated by our ancestors! However, life without food is impossible. One can still argue about the validity of this statement if he or she is a devout follower of mythological stories where great sages are said to go without any semblance of consumption for ages. However, such arguments can only be treated as sophistry as science has proven beyond doubt the necessity of food for the sustenance of the metabolic activities that keep us going. It then comes as a surprise that much thought and innovation has not been put in when it comes to food and the way we interact with it. The Internet of Things comes across as a revolutionary reform in the way we look and interact with inanimate objects, thus giving “life” to the most mundane of entities. With the advent of IoT, it is expected that a new perception will arise when it comes to food as well. It will get a “voice”, which it had been lacking till now. Latent information will be a gesture or glance away from the user- information like calorie content, vitamin distribution, relevance to personal health, side effects etc. New recipes might get updated by users all across the world and the ones which are trending might come up in front of your eyes, overlaid in front of the food items themselves, without the need of scourging over the net or recipe manuals for textual information or waiting for buffering of video content. The whole experience of interaction with food will change, inspiring serendipitous innovations all around. An example in this domain is the project at MIT Media Labs called Augmented Magnifier, which aims at augmenting information over fruits.
http://fluid.media.mit.edu/projects/augmented-magnifier