Don't get me wrong—crock pots are fantastic. Throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pot in the morning and coming home to a fragrant apartment and ready-to-eat dinner is magical. It's almost worth the nagging anxiety goes hand-in-hand with leaving an electrical appliance on all day with no one to watch it. Almost.
NUKE, a new concept from Savannah College of Art and Design students Talia Brigneti and Jeff Dull, takes a little bit of the magic out of the common crock pot and gives users peace of mind by means of a smartphone app and an integrated pot system.
By setting up a profile on NUKE's app with information on your food preferences, family size, diet restrictions, etc., the product helps cultivate different recipes fitting your tastes and provides the ingredient lists. Once you decide on a recipe, enter how many people you're cooking for and the system will update ingredient quantities.
This concept even appeals to the culinary inept: The app explains which ingredients go in the various pots by means of a color coded system—there's a colored ring on the inside of the pots that corresponds with the steps shown on the app. Set the time you'd like the meal to start cooking and it'll be ready by the time you come home. The recipe's progress and cook time can be monitored via the app, as well. "The concept was born in a group project from one of my industrial design classes where we were encouraged to explore with emerging materials and modern technology," Brigneti says. "Throughout the ideation phase, we accounted for healthy portions based on the food triangle, and aimed to design one single product that would bring all of these together and grant control without the need of physical presence at the kitchen."
While the app functionality is cool and all, the real design magic happens within the base of the pots. Brigneti explains:
Three cookers work together to form a single base with one switch. When the system is turned on, electric current travels through the ceramic compartments, allowing heat to transfer evenly into the food contained. The product syncs with your phone and you can control the food process from anywhere, anytime.
The system can still be used without using the app. "The biggest challenge was figuring out how we could make this product still functional without the use of a smart-phone, and we didn't want to just add a regular touch screen that would ruin the form," she says. "The solution came as we watched a video from Corning Glass. For the sake of the user's convenience we created circular screens in the lids that would allow managing basic settings such as time and temperature."