This kitchen induction stovetop uses voice recognition and tactile elements to be blind-friendly!

Today, induction stovetops are widely preferred over gas stovetops. Food cooks a little faster on induction stovetops, they’re easy to clean, and, without any visible flames, they’re generally considered much safer than gas stoves. However, when it comes to designing sleek induction stovetops specifically built for the blind community, the cooktop industry has a long way to go. Conceptualized by Hyeon Park, Curva is an induction stovetop specifically built for use by blind people.

Noticing the shortcomings of induction stovetops when considering the needs of blind people, Park improved several aspects of the traditional induction stovetop that could pose risks and hazards to the blind person who might be using it. The typical induction stovetop boasts a flat surface, which is usually the primary reason buyers choose it– it’s sleek, compact, and minimal in design.

However, the physical dials and knobs of gas stovetops have been replaced with haptic sensors and incognito buttons that cannot be felt by the blind community. Curva doesn’t compromise the induction stovetop’s flat surface but instead incorporates physical elements like ridges and slightly raised hot plates to help guide blind people when cooking.

Each hot plate on Curva’s stovetop is embossed and consists of different textures so that blind people can pinpoint the location of each one. Additionally, the firepower dial has a matte finish while the timer dial has a semi-glossy finish, indicating to the user the knobs’ different functions. Curva also comes equipped with voice controls that register commands for operation. The stovetop’s freeze function relies on weight sensors to keep the cookware lodged into the hotplate.

Designer: Hyeon Park

Textured and tactile features fill out the design of Curva.

Two raised hot plates allow blind cookers to pinpoint their location.

A disconnected raised ridge can be felt by those who are blind, indicating a nearby hotplate.

The knobs of Curva are textured to indicate different functions.

The fire burner knob dons a matte finish, while the timer dial is semi-glossy.

Curva’s freeze function keeps cookware on top of hot plates through weight sensors.

The freeze function can be blocked or activated with the push of a button.

While there are some added features to Curva’s design, it still holds that classic slim body for which induction stovetops are known.

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Tableware essentials such as spoons, cups, plates and bowls are classic designs whose forms have remained unchanged over time. While the majority of us find these designs beneficial in their current form, what evolution for a society entails is evolution of our everyday designs to suit not only the majority, but to be inclusive and cater to all humans alike. It is this progress and inclusiveness Jexter Lim brings to the world with his tableware design named Eatsy.

Jexter’s design process started with a relatively simple question, “How might we design an adaptive tableware to enhance dining experience for the visually impaired?” The answer was Eatsy, a set of multi-functional tableware consisting of a plate, a bowl, a cup and utensils designed with a unique feature, a silicone flap that can be bent to increase ease of usage while reducing the stigma by blending in with the existing tableware. The silicone flap is one of those minor changes that make all the difference – they provide unique sensory cues in a subtle manner for the visually impaired, helping them feel the edge of the container to guide them in their tasks – be it pouring water correctly into the cup, scooping food from the edge of your plate or even balancing your spoon on the edge so it does not slip into the food. For example, the cup’s indent or silicone flap bends inwards, helping the user identify the spot and secure that location for pouring from a jug. The raised corner of the plate is sloped in nature, helping you capture, corner and scoop food onto your spoon, making it easy for the user to scoop the food towards this corner and judge the content left on their plate. Such tasks that commonly do without realizing our dependency visual cues and taking the action for granted.

Eatsy is also user-friendly for both left and right-handed users while its stackable design makes it easy to store. The simplicity of the design ensures it is easy to implement across restaurants and home. Given the fact that it helps prevent spillage, Eatsy is user-friendly not only for visually-impaired but for the elderly, children or just about anyone who has a tendency to spill – Eatsy is just as useful for everyone as it is for the visually impaired and that’s what makes it a truly inclusive design!

Designer: Jexter Lim

Pouring water

Cup silicone

Silicone plate

placing spoon

About Eatsy

Design Process

 

User Testing and Reviews

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Designer: Hangzhou DesignDo Innovation

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Designer: OrCam

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