Google Cooktop

At first glance, I thought the Google Cooktop was an appliance. It’s not, it’s a smart countertop concept for the kitchen.

Created by designer Sarah R. L. Johnson, the Google Cooktop is an interactive screen embedded in your countertop. The Cooktop can either be connected wirelessly to the users’ computer or to the Google Cooking App on the users’ iPhone to access a catalog of the ingredients the user has in their home. The Cooktop can then suggest a recipe or the user can search the internet for a recipe of their choice.

If you know your dinner guests really well (or they are willing to share very personal information with you), The user can then select the profiles of the people who will be attending dinner. These profiles are connected to an application called Google Cal Band which allows the Cooktop to these people’s access daily fitness routines and diet preferences and suggest meal type and appropriate portion size for each person thus reducing the chance for food waste.

The selected recipe is displayed on the countertop surface. As the user compiles their ingredients and sets them on the surface of the Cooktop, the device measures the size of each ingredient as it is set down. Ingredients are then “weighed” by the Cooktop and visually cut down into suitable portions. When a particular item weighs too much, it is blocked out in red so the user can cut it down into a smaller piece.

As the user begins to cook, they can check which step they are currently on and the Cooktop can then highlight which ingredient are needed for that step. The Cooktop also prompts the user by suggesting tips for the recipe and ensures that each meal is cooked to perfection.

This could be a great solution if you tend to accidentally leave out ingredients. I am sure the Cooktop would not know what to do with too many substitutions of ingredients. It would probably react the way GPS units do and tell you to do a U-turn in your cooking steps.

A Splash-Proof Tablet for Your Kitchen

The Qooq (that’s “cook,” get it?) was another gadget on display at the CES 2012 show. This French tablet, which already sells in France, is aimed at solving the problem of how to use a tablet in the kitchen where spills and greasy smudges are bound to happen.

This 10 inch tablet runs on Linux, not Android, nor Windows 8 and it will cost $400 when it comes to the states. This Linux  distribution has been customized for the Qooq and it  is loaded with many things a cook would want like recipes from renowned chefs, as well as related videos, an ingredient database, wine and cuisine tutorials and a regular culinary magazine.

As you would expect, it has built-in Wi-Fi, speakers and most other things you would expect in a tablet. It sports a 1GHz dual-core processor,  on the side, it has an SD card slot, an ethernet port, usb port and a headphone jack. In addition to that, it’s also splash-resistant, spill-resistant and drop-resistant.

The Qooq comes is your choice of red, black or cream with a  built-in kickstand.

Reports from the show say they poured wine over the tablet to show that it can take abuse. There is a subscription service for culinary magazine and 50 extra recipes a month.

Could This Be In Your Future Countertop?

It’s easy to see why everybody is so exited about Microsoft Surface, the technology and user experience are just amazing, image the possibilities.


If you are traveling, you can see Microsoft Surface Virtual Concierge 30-inch tables in the lobbies of five Sheraton Hotel: Boston, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco. Applications include CityTips with attractions, eateries, shopping, maps, and transportation; a digital jukebox; and SheratonSnapshots, a library of photos of Sheraton resorts.

If you threw a party with the Surface DJ everybody would definitely be in the Kitchen.  In fact, it may be impossible to get people to go home.  Watch the Video and you’ll want one too.


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