We are creating a new digital food and cooking media for virtual and remote communication. We expect it to radically enhance family bonding and intergenerational communication.
New communication technologies have made it easier to stay in contact with people, but as young people’s lifestyles become increasingly busier and the elderly population continues to rise, the problems of loneliness and weakening family ties are growing concerns. Our food media system builds remote family communication networks and allows for novel intergenerational interactions between family members through food and food activities.
It currently consists of three platforms:
(1) 3D food tele-generating printer that transforms eating into an interactive communication experience by creating edible layered messages. It produces food by printing layers of flavored agar pixels that are liquefied by a silicon heater and then solidify upon contact with the environment. The system prints the layered information according to drawings, photos, or texts submitted by the sender.
(2) Rice messaging printer that links today’s social networking platforms with traditional physical communication favored by the elderly. Our system allows young people to send a digital message via a mobile phone or website which the elderly can then receive as a familiar and comforting printed rice message. Rice is one of the most widespread foods in the world, and in Asia especially, has a deep and longstanding cultural history shared by both the elderly and young.
(3) Co-cooking devices, a sensor-embedded pot and spatula that encourage collaboration by letting elderly family members to remotely teach and co-cook with younger members. The system not only helps to replicate similar tasting dishes across remote locations, but creates the sense of physical co-presence and bonding for older generations through haptic feedback.
We intend to encourage people to communicate and interact closely and emotionally through food media.
The proposed food media is not only expected to facilitate peoples’ communications for staying relationships closely and the sharing of their taste experiences, but also to enhance and sustain communication between remotely-located peoples with more emotional and soft communication ways.
For a video demo of the system, please click below: