Words by MPDClick’s Future Trend Researcher.
In a response to growing concerns over the increased levels of childhood obesity, Royal College of Art graduate Alicja Pytlewska has created a sensorial interface that combines food and interactive technology to teach children about the importance of healthy food choices.
The interface entitled PlayFood focuses on the concept of gamifying food choices by bringing together the worlds of food and technology. The player’s choice of food has a direct effect on the on-screen character Ummy’s physical performance in challenges, thus encouraging both children and adults to think wisely about the healthiness of different foods. Pytlewska describes PlayFood as “a tangible interface to the virtual world, exploring how the experience of the everyday reality can be enhanced by digital technology.”
In the next five years, Pytlewska aims to extend the game beyond just eating, and span a whole food journey including making, growing and shopping. Future products could include interactive crockery which works with home computers and mobile devices, interactive food making/cutting boards, interactive plant pots and smart shopping trolleys. Beyond this point, Pytlewska sees the Ummy character play a significant part in hospital care for children, providing positive effects on the mental and physical health of patients.
Food design revolutionaries such as Marti Guixe and Marije Vogelzang further highlight the importance of interaction with food as a means to enhance social engagement and wellbeing. In the future, applications like PlayFood will revolutionise the way we consume food.
Image Source: Alicja Pytlewska