Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays, food

A chef’s new best friend

Now this is an e-reader I could get behind! (By the way, did you see the study the other day about how people still read faster on paper than on screens? For some reason I feel vindicated)

interactive kitchen table
Interactive kitchen table called Oasis

So often now I will place my laptop precariously on the kitchen counter in order to follow a new recipe I found on one of my favorite food blogs, while at the same time I’m trying to stir a hot pot and dice tomatoes. This is frankly really dumb, and all the while I’m thinking I should have printed out the recipe, but that’s a waste of paper.

Now, a team of Intel researchers and University of Washington graduate student Ryder Ziola have  shown they can turn an ordinary work surface into an interactive one using a depth-sensing camera and pico projector. The researchers demoed the system, dubbed Oasis, at the ninth annual Intel Research Day, held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, by showing that you can use the device to see what ingredients you have on the table and the computer will interact and figure out what you can make, not to mention display recipes, and other handy tools.

This is similar to the interactive tabletop displayed by Microsoft at the SID conference in Seattle in May, but what’s cool about this is that it doesn’t require a lot of high-fangled optics or secret technologies. Well, maybe a few. But what’s cool about it is that it can be projected onto any surface, so who knows, maybe in a few years it really will be the gift that everyone gets for mom…or the kids who keep spilling their ingredients all over the table.

See Video, or read the article.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.