Ambient Kitchen

Our introduction to working with the Culture Lab at Newcastle University was sparked when Dr. Patrick Olivier approached us to discuss an exciting project he had been working on. The ‘Ambient Kitchen’ was an idea that came out of work done with dementia patients and the problems encountered in caring for these patients due to the nature of the symptoms. The goal of Ambient Kitchen is to build an environment that can provide calm support for older people in a kitchen using technology that has effectively disappeared. This has been achieved by embedding the RFID readers within the work surfaces and the cupboards; concealing the miniature DLP projectors inside the cabinets; placing pressure sensors under the flooring; an attaching wireless light and acceleration sensors to anything that can be moved. The Ambient Kitchen’s software is able to monitor not only what objects are manipulated, but the actions people are trying to perform (although this is quite basic at present). Using this information gentle hints and advice is displayed to help people in their everyday kitchen activities.