Braunprize 2009

An entry into the BraunPrize 2009 International Design Competition, “Enutrio” (from the Latin word for “nurture”) is the soft, friendly kitchen appliance that everyone wants to keep happy. Recognising routines in people’s lifestyles, the kettle reacts to how and when it is being used. Enutrio has an ambient glow that changes colour depending on its ‘mood’. Using all of the water that has been boiled, being economical with time and energy, makes Enutrio happy, glowing a soft yellow or white. Boiling more water than is used, however, makes it sad or in extreme cases, angry. It will begin to glow red, with increasing intensity, eventually lighting up the room. When someone approaches Enutrio close to teatime, it begins to throb orange in a manner resembling the pattern of a human heartbeat. The closer it gets to teatime, the faster this ‘heartbeat’ becomes, enticing potential users to engage in making their favourite hot drink.

Whilst being filled, Enutrio suggests how much water to put in, based on its memory of the users’ routines. The ambient glow in the kettle gives a gentle, friendly reminder, glowing green at the level it thinks is correct, blue if the level is lower, or red if the level is higher. As a safety feature, a flashing light indicates the level is either below minimum, or above maximum and the kettle refuses to operate.

Enutrio’s pseudo emotional interface is designed to encourage people to only boil the water they need to use, saving them time in their busy routine and, concurrently, saving energy. By using colours to portray moods as opposed to a more obvious alphanumeric or audible interface, engagement is subtle, verging on subconscious. Rather than preaching the energy and time-saving issues, which no doubt the user has heard before, Enutrio puts the user into a benevolent role, empathising with and nurturing the kettle such as they would a virtual pet.


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