MIT SmartSink

Cassidy brought me back a pamphlet describing MIT's SmartSink(a PDF paper describing the thing).

Here's the abstract, which pretty much describes it:

Considering its central role, the kitchen sink is considerably
dumber than its fellow appliances. We have built a contextaware
kitchen sink that anticipates your needs and can be
operated in a totally hands-free manner. The fixture adjusts
to your height automatically, chooses when to dispense
water and adjusts the temperature of the water based on
your needs. The water and sink surfaces act as graphical
interfaces to report the status of the water and the sink.
SmartSink is a rugged kinetic kitchen sink that can move
up and down with its supply and drain lines. Its surface is
made from soft, strong materials that absorb noise and
minimize breaking dishes. As a context-aware appliance,
SmartSink allows the user to remain concentrated on the
task at hand, only offering information in an unobtrusive

And, as to be expected from what I've said before, I agree with their concluding discussion:

SmartSink is a highly context-aware kichen appliance. The digital augmentation of traditionally simple devices can greatly enhance the comfort, safety and efficiency of tasks. In this case, SmartSink should allow users to keep their eyes and hands completely occupied with their task whenever they use the sink. The vertical adjustment should increase the comfort and accessibility of the sink.

In other words, they're looking at what people do with sinks now and are trying everything they can to augment those actions. I'd maybe quibble with the assumption that people never want to look at the sink as they do their task (what about using the contents of a sink as context for what has been done?), but it's a small point. I like the project.

And this shows that they have everything at SIGGRAPH. ;-) Thanks, Cassidy.

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on August 20, 2004 7:19 PM.

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