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Kitchen Exploration


Welcome to the upcoming cooking sensation, Exploration Kitchen! Exploration Kitchen is an augmented reality game that helps teach children and young adults how to make easy recipes in the kitchen. It can be hard for people new to cooking to simply look at a recipe on their phone and try to copy the recipe exactly, especially if they don’t know their way around kitchen appliances. Exploration Kitchen uses augmented reality to help them practice recipes, without the dangers of accidents. Users will be able to identify the different appliances in their kitchen through Exploration Kitchen’s recognition software, and learn safety tips and cooking facts by simply pressing the exclamation on their phone. Above all else, Exploration Kitchen wants to help children and young adults cook for themselves, and do it safely.


Statement of Need

Following my last project, I realized that many children might not have the chance to learn in the kitchen (or might struggle to be motivated). An augmented reality application allows users to explore the kitchen safely, while also giving them tips and tricks before they can move on to easy recipes.

Concept Description

Exploration kitchen gives users facts and tips on how to use the tools of their kitchen, without making them figure out how their own kitchen is different. The application recognizes appliances within the user's own home as a tutorial, and tells them how to use them within simple recipes. Users can reach higher level tiers, which will have harder and harder recipes. Mastering all these recipes will give them the title of Chef Maestro, a sign that they have a mastery of their own kitchen.


Target Audience and Learning Goals

The target audience of this application is anyone who wants to learn how to cook. The design is focused on younger users, ages 9-15, but it can be used by people at any age.

  1. Users new to cooking.

  2. Users aged 9-15.

While there are no learning goals designed for learning to cook from the school system, there are specific learning goals we have created specifically for this application.

  1. Users will be able to recognize all the appliances in their kitchen, and be able to relate          all of their specific uses.

  2. Users will be able to cook five simple meals, which in total use all of the appliances in          their kitchen. 


  1. Kitchen recognition: users scan their kitchen and read the information above each                appliance!

  2. Users click on dots to read information.

  3. Users choose a recipe.

  4. Walk through the steps of the recipe.

  5. Recipe check: users take a safety and recipe quiz to show they have mastered it!

  6. Users complete as many recipes as they want, gaining levels with each completed                recipe.


Learning Theories

There are a number of learning theories that apply to Kitchen Exploration. The use of augmented reality as opposed to virtual reality follows the personalization principle. Users are using their own kitchen within the app, and they can immerse themselves within their own kitchen to complete challenges. This personalization engages users on a deeper level, and motivates them to continue using the application. 

There is also a level of game theory within the application. The inclusion of "levels" of cooking provides a game atmosphere, but there is a great deal of decision-making needed in using the app. The app provides recipes for the user's, but they must find ways to complete the recipes themselves. Making the recipe requires them to use different cooking techniques and strategies, and as they complete higher-level recipes, they must find different ways to complete tasks on their own. This pushes users to analyze past recipes to come up with new techniques, or remember old ones, to complete recipes of a higher difficulty. 

The use of fun titles to be gained also ties to motivation. User's internal motivation to learn to cook is important, but the addition of titles and levels provides users with a goal to achieve. The app pushes users to compete with their own ability, and push to achieve the ultimate title of "Chef Maestro".


There were some concerns of cognitive load, as being in the kitchen while on your phone can make it very difficult to focus. That is why none of the recipes are being physically made in the kitchen. This reduces the safety concerns of the application, and also prevents users from being overwhelmed with all the different components. Early recipes provide all the materials in a step-by-step basis that reduce the cognitive load, while higher-level recipes slowly reduce the scaffolding present in the first level, giving users time to get used to their new skills. 


I really enjoyed creating a video on one of my own recipes, and decided that this would be a great application for people like me, who didn't have the chance to learn to cook with their parents. While I knew some simple recipes, I never actually used many of the appliances in my kitchen. As I moved into my own apartment, I was left unprepared to cook more than simple dishes that used few appliances. This application is designed to provide support for anyone who wants to learn more about their kitchen, and the different techniques they can use to cook.

I struggled greatly to complete this project, as I was stuck on trying to create a usable prototype using AR technology. As I was not used to design with AR/VR, I floundered in the creation of a completed prototype that fit my vision. However, once I decided to include a different type of prototype using screenshots from two different levels of the application, I was much more confident and was easily able to finish the project. I hope that I will have the time to gain more experience in creating working AR prototypes, but for this project I am happy with my design.

Overall, this project felt like the perfect way to follow my 4th project of youtube recipe story-telling. It followed a similar theme, and like the rest of my projects it was tied to my own narrative of a boy who barely knew how to cook, to a man who sometimes knows how to cook. Not only do I feel like I shared a part of myself, but I also was able to explore augmented reality software. This will definitely come in handy for the future!

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