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National Runner Up

Magic Glove - a smart kitchen glove

The smart kitchen glove “Magic Glove“ helps to reduce the complexity of the modern kitchen environment.  As an ideal tool, it optimizes the range of functions of the human hand.

  • Magic Glove - a smart kitchen glove which helps to reduce the complexity in the kitchen

  • The video shows the functions and use of Magic Glove in a modern kitchen environment.

    The video shows the functions and use of Magic Glove in a modern kitchen environment.

  • Functions - An overview about all the functions of Magic Glove

  • Design Process and Model Building - Sketching and Prototyping

  • User Interface - An overview of the possible interactions with Magic Glove

  • Sensor Technology - Showing the Technology behind Magic Glove and the Functional Prototype

What it does

The smart kitchen glove “Magic Glove“ helps to reduce the complexity of the modern kitchen environment. As an ideal tool, it optimizes the range of functions of the human hand and integrates the user intuitively and seamlessly into the device network.


Your inspiration

Our research has shown very quickly how problematic und user-unfriendly the area of the kitchen and cooking still is. Based on observations and interviews we find that the most relevant points thereof consist of the large quantity of devices, lack of storage space, injuries such as cuts and burns, a myriad of work steps and missing information about food. Particularly interesting were the interviews with extreme users like children or chefs, who pointed out how important intuitive workflows are. It is our aspiration to give everyone a revolutionized cooking experience, which is as joyful and intuitive as it is fascinating.


How it works

Various sensors, such as flex sensors and accelerometers, allow gesture tracking for controlling devices. With the FlexiForce Pressure Sensors, the user can weigh with the glove in its own hand and check the consistency of the food. Optical sensors in combination with temperature and humidity sensors help determine the shelf-life and degree of ripeness, and measure exact food temperatures. The usage of different smart materials gives the glove its unique protective features, such as heat and cut protection. For the optimal visualization of various feedback and information, the interface is displayed directly on the glove or on the integrated bracelet via projection, which is displayed above or below, depending on its rotation. Furthermore, additional visual and haptic feedback is provided by LED strips and vibration directly on the glove. Magic Glove can also be connected with ecosystem devices, such as smartphones, and home assistants via Bluetooth or WiFi.


Design process

The main topic of our student project was "Exciting possibilities - Design for a seamless life" and should be in the home appliances sector. Our various interviews helped us finding the most important Pain Points as well as the main idea of the glove. We brainstormed possible features for our glove during the ideation process and selected the most important ones after the interviews. In addition, we used different types of gloves and went through the whole cooking process, which emphasized the importance of preserving the sensitivity of the hand while also providing the protective function needed. We then used various tools to visualize the design of the glove, including sketching and rapid prototyping. This process helped us to develop the importance of elegance, functionality, minimalism and adaptivity as core characteristics of the design of Magic Glove - according to "less is more", focusing on the user, the food and important feedback. Rapid prototyping was also used to parallelly test different device controls and interfaces. For the final visualization, we decided to create a functional prototype with Arduino, which makes it possible to experience the sensor system and the functions of Magic Glove, and a design prototype, which represent the aesthetics and materiality.


How it is different

For every step, no matter how small, and for every dish, no matter how simple, there are plenty of devices and tools that we use during the cooking process and that are supposed to make life easier for us. But reality usually looks very different - the high number of appliances takes away a lot of storage space in our kitchen and during the cooking process. Chaos and disorder usually prevails. Not to mention the unpopular cleaning and tidying up after cooking! For many home appliances in the kitchen there are also different operating concepts robbing us of valuable time and energy. But what is actually the most important and essential tool in our kitchen, the one we absolutely need for every step during cooking? It's our hands! With the help of Magic Glove, we managed to expand and strengthen the natural functions of the human hand and enabled the connection and intuitive control of different home appliances without creating many new and overly complex devices.


Future plans

Future challenges will be combining the technology with the optical aspects of “Magic Glove”. It would be necessary to bring together different experts of the textile industry,sensor technology and software engineers to discuss further possibilities in order to turn “Magic Glove” into a market-ready product which allows both: To maintain the sensitivity of the human hand by using the thinnest possible material, as well as all the technical components, such as the sensors, to be embedded into the fabric. Lastly, the operating concept of Magic Glove would have to be compatible with the home appliances of all household appliance manufacturers.


Awards

Siemens Home Appliances Design Award 2018 - 2nd Prize


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