The Connected Barbecue

What the Internet of Things (IoT) can do for the barbecue was analyzed in Sietse Taams' Master's Thesis in Interaction Design at TU Delft. Commissioned by LABS and mentored by Innovation and Strategy Director, Iskander Smit, the master's thesis project was delivered in April 2017.

BBQ prototype

Through emerging technologies, it is possible to efficiently extend wireless communication and sensing-/actuating functionality to everyday objects so that they can communicate with each other as well as with humans. We apply and investigate these technologies in conjunction with The Internet of Things movement.

What the Internet of Things (IoT) can do for the barbecue was analysed in Sietse Taams' Master's Thesis in Interaction Design at TU Delft. Commissioned by LABS and mentored by Innovation and Strategy Director, Iskander Smit, the project took about seven months ending in April 2017.

tong prototype

From a technical point of view the challenges of technology in an extreme environment were tackled with IoT features. The relevant variables such as temperature and food type were investigated. Controlling these variables became something that should be the combined effort of user and technology (dialogue). It should reward the user for his efforts since the main problem is that he likes to be at the barbecue but doesn’t think well of his performance.

This division of labor was investigated further with design research and philosophy. The new question became how a designer can give meaning to this user-product relation. A tangible interface was found to be key by giving the user freedom to interact with it off screen.

Timer

Pitmaster, a barbecue support toolkit consisting of temperature sensor tongs, timers and a base station, was created through the iterative design process. Key features include a timer that becomes the focus point where a user can see the cooking progress for any type of food. Its accuracy comes from combining the measurement of temperature and food height with guesses from the user which become more educated after adjustments of parameters and data collection by the system.

Continued exploration of the connected BBQ is being conducted by Sietse in LABS to make the BBQ smart by applying machine learning to the software infrastructure. At LABS, we have found a way to grill the data and BBQ our way into a smarter summer.

Looking at IoT from a perspective where products can be agents, human-product relations are easier to understand and the dialogue between the two became a point of focus.
Sietse Taams

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