Learn to Cook without the Burns
The Tokyo Institute of Technology is producing an augmented reality cooking simulator, whose aim is, among other things, to teach you how to make the perfect steak without having to waste meat or do dishes. The frying pan is real, the utensils totally virtual.
Check out the vid:
The “force feedback” frying pan and spatula supposedly recreate a sense of cooking with accuracy. The pan fry interface permits 3D input, and a simulator gauges the weight of the meat and vegetables. Moving the pan aids the cooking process, just as it would in real life.
You can also see visible changes caused by heating directly on your meat and vegetables.
From Tokyo’s Institute of Technology:
"When you move the frying pan, the actual movement is input, and you can feel the ingredients through the pan. Also, the upper part of the system is a screen. When you look into the pan, you can see what’s in it through a half-mirror. So this simulator lets you experience looking into the frying pan while you hold it."
"This technology combines a rigid-body physics engine library and a heat conduction simulator. The heat conduction state changes in line with the amount of physical contact, and the simulation is achieved by combining them."
"This system also calculates how moisture evaporates or flows as the temperature rises. It shows how protein changes color from red to brown, or how vegetables turn dark, by synthesizing textures."
"We’d like to develop this system further, so it’s helpful in actual cooking at home. It could help you make the meat you’re cooking taste even better. If it could be linked to a system that tells you, "In five minutes, your food will look like this, and in ten minutes, it will look like this. Which would you prefer?", so this system could really help with cooking."
The only thing we can imagine lacking in this dream virtual cook-lab is the sense of smell, which is of incredible importance when gauging the readiness of food. But probably that’s the least of their problems before perfecting sensory input.