Brief (in brief):
" Design and engineer a battery powered hand-tool for home, garden or educational use, that not only appeals to the mass market, but also meets the needs of a specific (underserved) user group".
After researching, we found that visually impaired users are severely under-designed for. We set out to help these users to start to enjoy cooking at a competitive price.
Once the initial research and outreach phase of the project ended, we started working with individual users and found a fantastic focus group of 23 blind users. Working with foam and 3D printed models, we worked through many ideas to find a truly useful solution.
We took apart a small, battery operated multi-tool and adapted it to our uses. We added a raspberry pi mini and wrote an Alexa skill. This allowed KAIT to become a smart tool.
The final product was tested with real life users. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. Integrating voice controls with cooking is a natural mix and a big improvement to accessibility. The mechanical changes to the design helped to improve the ease of use without sight, even at the first interaction.
By designing the device to have strong mass market appeal, we could address one of the major concerns of this product: the cost. Visually impaired users often suffer from high prices of accessible devices. Opening it to the mass market helps to lower the cost significantly.
Ultimately, working closely with our users helped us to build a design that solved real problems and encouraged them to cook.
Below is a report for the 3rd phase of the project. Please enjoy reading! It is full of detail of the late design process for this device.