Meet The Food You Eat

Course : Tangible User Interface (TUI) @ CIID
Team : Adam Little, Eilidh Dickson, Siddharth Muthyala
Duration : 4 Weeks
My Role : Concept generation and development, Prototyping, User Testing, building final physical prototype,      Designing and Building Final Model.
Honors : Invited to exhibit at NEXT Exhibition/Conference in Arhus, Denmark
Invited to participate in the Pervasive Shopping Workshop at Pervasive 2009 in Nara, Japan

What is it?
Our project is a scale that measures a food product’s environmental impact. The scale calculates the carbon emitted as a result of transporting the food and measures this in terms of how many trees would be required to off-set that carbon over one year.

Meet The Food You Eat scale at the class exhibition @ CIID

This scale explores how tangible interfaces can be used to interact with data on the web. With the increase in usage of RFID technology and as “everday” objects become networked, we anticipate access to untold amounts of information for things as simple as an apple will be available. With appropriate ways to interact with this data, we hope people will be able to make more informed decisions that will help build a sustainable world.

This scale can also be viewed as a hypothetical kitchen appliance or point to a future grocery store service. The data it uses is important but remains hidden to most people, and we hope this will not be the case for much longer.

the scale in use, product demo

Who is it for?
The scale is an exhibition piece intended to make people think about the environmental implications of the food they purchase. With a subject as complex as carbon emissions and the global food economy, our scale is only an entry point and is intended to raise more questions than it will answer.

How does it work?
The scale looks at the carbon emitted by transporting a particular product from it’s country of origin to Denmark. Place an RFID tagged product on the appropriate arm and try to balance the scale with the tree shaped weights. The amount of trees used to balance the scale represents the number of actual trees it would take to offset that product’s carbon emissions over one year. Swap items on the scale and compare different items from a particular country or similar items from different countries.

a quick overview of the process (20 sec)

the scale in use at the next conference

back to top

Project List: