Surphase is a multi-purpose cooking appliance that can be used to heat and cook or even to cool food. Thanks to it’s flexible form, the cooking process can be done either on a flat surface like on a hob, or bent to cover a pot and be used as an oven, or even grill your steak by wrapping the surface around the steak. The broad usage of Surface will encourage people to prepare their own food either at home or by bringing the appliance along to a trip.
What was the inspiration behind your concept?
Kitchens aren’t changed since the introduction of the gas hobs, ovens and fridges. At the moment there is a big trend in the connection between all these kitchen appliances. That is the current trend, but not the future trend! To answer this brief I had to predict or even invent the next kitchen trend. An integration of all these products in one portable device is the future in my eyes. I chose this way, so I could create a complete different culinary experience with a single product.
How do you think your concept will change peoples’ lives?
Surphase will definately change people’s culinary behavior. People won’t be limited to cook at home, in their fixed cooking area of the house or with multiple difficult device. You can cook in your park with your mates, in the backyard with your family, in the living area with you seven year old kid or by yourself in the ‘kitchen’ you still own. Flexibility was one of the keywords Electrolux gave me, and this product definitely removes all the current limitations in culinary enjoyment!
No expert feedback available
Stage - Concept Development
Electrolux Surphase takes culinary enjoyment to the next level by simply bending this smart heating/cooling surface in an oven or fridge!
Why stuck to a kitchen at your house while you could use this Electrolux Surphase? Not only this product provides you enough space for 3 medium size pans, but by simply bending the end you can also use it as an oven! Flexibility, it's becoming more and more important nowadays. The wirelessness makes it able to use this product at your work, in the garden, in a park or in the living room. It's only 32,5 cm high, what is easy to put in your bag and bring it whereever you want.
Both sides of the Electrolux Surphase are smart. The sensors in the product itself are detecting the pan or food and will only heat/cool on the place where the sensors are detecting an object. After placing a pan on the plate, an outline of the pan will appear on the touchscreen where you can adjust the heating level and set a timer. Easy for boiling eggs and potatoes but even better for the oven function. Place the cake on the plate, bend the surface over it and set the timer for 45 minutes.
Besides the innovative heating side, the cooling side is bringing the concept to a different level. Not only the flat surface cools your steak, but by bending the surface it transforms in a portable fridge. Combining two Electrolux Surphases together, and you got a portable fridge of almost 50 cm long, 32,5 cm deep and 20 cm high!
It needs to be charged, but by using of an upcoming battery technology where they are using graphene as a main material, it can store loads of energy but still remains thin.
Stage - My concept
The Electrolux Surphase provides a flexible cooking and cooling space whereever and whenever you want.
Flexibility, adaption and change are words which become more and more important in people's lifes. So why not in products? The Electrolux Surphase is a cooking and cooling surface which provides you a culinary experience you've never seen before. Due to the flexible surface, you will have endless posibillities to cook or cool. You can grill your lovely steak by wrapping the surface around the steak. The Electrolux Surphase detects where your pan or pot is and only heats the area where the food needs to be baked. Due a very minimalistic and clear design, the user knows immediately what to do and how to change the temperatue of it. The LEDs in the surface and controller will give you a clear indication of the temperature. The higher the temperature, the more red the LEDs will glow. The colder, the more blue they will glow.
Read consumer motivation ▼ Show
Why stuck to a normal cooking experience while you can have so much more freedom if you're using an Electrolux Surphase. 67% of the world population will be urban by 2050 and only in the UK there will be 26 million single households. You can say that flexibility will be quite important for those people. Single househoulds don't want to have a big kitchen, especially when their spaces are getting smaller and smaller.
Not only I see a future market in flexible heating devices, Panasonic sees it as well. (see fourth image) One of the bigger competitors of Electrolux introduced at the biggest electronic device fair of Europe, the IFA Berlin 2014, a device which heats from the top as well. It was quite a surprised to see this concept shown here.The difference with this device is, you still need a traditional cooking area (kitchen).
Surphase makes it possible to cook whereever you want, for example in your current living room. It removes all the boundaries and makes it truly flexible. A big step in the future.
I can remember a couple of keywords Electrolux gave me in the beginning of this contest: flexibility, urbanization, innovation, 26 million single households and many more. But these four keywords formed my starting point for a brainstormsession. Although it wasn’t easy to come up with a solution which tackles all of these keywords but that’s why we chose to be a designer! Right guys?!
Let’s talk a bit more about the Surphase as the 500 characters boxes are pretty small. Surphase can definately change people’s lifes, yes! Kitchens aren’t changed since the introduction of the gas hobs, ovens and fridges. At the moment there is a big trend in the connection between all these kitchen appliances. That is the current trend, but not the future trend! To answer this brief I had to predict or even invent the next kitchen trend. An integration of all these products in one portable device is the future in my eyes. I chose this way, so I could create a complete different culinary experience with a single product.
Surphase works with smart individual heating and cooling elements with touch sensors. When a heating or cooling element is detected it will be activated and will form a heating area around the pan. The touchscreen will display a circle which represents the pan. By clicking on it you can adjust the heating intensity and set a timer. A charging device is supplied as well to charge and store the rolled Surphase. The Surphase will give you a complete new culinary experience by combining all the main kitchen appliances in one portable device. You can now cook in new places such as the park with some friends, at the beach with your wife, in the backyard with your family or in the living area with your young kid. One of the biggest problems of main kitchen appliances manufacturers is they tackle small problems, and come up with solutions for small cooking problems. The Surphase doesn’t tackle a small problem, but creates a new cooking experience.
What would this device be if it doesn’t have a charging device? It would just be a rolled surface, probably with a port where you can plug in a charger. The fact you can leave away all your cooking kitchen appliances with this device, makes it necessary to replace that ‘kitchen look’. If I didn’t design a proper charging station, the Surphase will just lay around somewhere in the kitchen, spread out. A charging staion will create a place where you can store the Surphase and makes it nice and tidy. Also, it gives the product more value as it looks complete now.
According to an article on Gizmag ( http://www.gizmag.com/ten-outstanding-semi-finalists-electrolux-design-lab-2014/32883/ ), where my design is shown, wireless cooking will use too much energy then this device can save. I partially agree with them. Yes, cooking will cost a lot of energy and yes it is difficult with the CURRENT technologies to manufacture a thin device which can save a lot of energy. BUT!!! Like I showed in my previous blog, supercapacitors are the new ‘movement’. Batteries are based on chemical reactions which is:
- Not ecological friendly because of the chemicals they use
- They take way to much space
- Are not renewable
- Can’t store the amount of energy I need
These supercapacitors are super thin, can store loads of energy and they will the base of my product. I think people will still cook on a fixed spot in the house, probably nearby a charging point. This makes it for me a bit easier, because I chose to add an extra electricity cable. This is cable between the product and the charging POINT, not the charging DEVICE, will make it able to use the Surphase for a longer period. Due the use of supercapacitors my device will still be able to use without a wire!
In fact, Surphase is an all-in-one device which combines all of the main kitchen appliances in one portable device. A cooking hob, an oven and a fridge is all you need to prepare your food besides cutlery. These three products are mainly big and need loads of space in the kitchen. However, if you unfix these products like I did you can transform your ‘food-preparing-area’ in a flexible space. Remove your kitchen, use this space to make your living area bigger and cook in your living room. According the Electrolux brief, everyone’s space will be smaller, although you do want to have a big room in your house instead of 5 small rooms. Use the Surphase to change your complete culinary behaviour! Think about it, one device can remove a kitchen! You’re not even restricted to your own kitchen, but you can use it at work or somewhere else as well!
pic 1: So many possibilities with the Surphase
pic 2: Why not cook your dinner on the beach? Just chuck your Surphase in your bag.
To make my concept even more realistic and ready to use, it is important to apply the good technologies. Everyone knows how much energy/gas it’ll cost to cook your dinner. One of the USP’s of this product is the portability, which means you can use it wherever and whenever you want. The use of two single AA batteries or a LIPO-accu isn’t good enough in that situation. First of all, they don’t have enough power to last for a long time, secondly they are way too big to create the thinness I want to have and they are not flexible. I had to find a different way of charging my product. Graphene would be a great main material for a supercapacitor in my product. Not only it stores enormously fast & loads of energy, it’s flexible, 1 atom thick biodegradable, but it’s cheap to manufacture as well. It makes it just perfect to use as an energy storing element in my product. Because the material is flexible, I can make a supercapacitor as long as my product is and let it store loads of energy. Perfect for people who wants to cook in a park or somewhere at a place without any chargers.
See the video below for an explanation of the applying of graphene as a supercapacitor.
After brainstorming and brainstorming I finally submitted my improved concept. I changed the whole design, the interface and features to make my idea stronger. Although it looks completely different, this shape makes more sense then the previous one. Take a look on my submission page! Cheers
According the Electrolux expert, I should focus my improvements on the interface of the product. The vision behind the current interface is to keep it as easy for the user as possible. But with the features the product have right now, the interface is not clear enough. For example, I do want to grill my steak. What kind of actions do I have to do to activate the grill function? At the moment, you can’t. The interface is not clear enough to set the grill. An other problem is the heat control of different pans. There is a plus and minus on the short side of the problem, which should control the heat over the the whole surface. What if I want to use a low amount of heat for one pan and lots of heat for another pan? You can’t adjust it at the moment. Well, maybe you can but it’s not clear enough. After a short brainstorm I also want to add a timer for this product. Wouldn’t it be awesome to set a timer to cook your eggs and it turns off after 9 minutes if you want to have hard-boiled eggs? Or boil potatoes? Or set a timer for 15 minutes to grill your pizza? It adds so much more value to the product, but above all flexibility. You set the timer, vacuum clean the house in the meanwhile, and grab your eggs when the timer goes off.
The conclusion of these problems is that I have to redesign the control device. The product will look different, but will be easier in use. The new display will get a touchscreen with an topview of the Surphase, where the automatically detected pans are displayed. The pans will appear as a circle with the heating level inside. More will be displayed in the submission monday the 9th of July.
I do have an idea, made a sketch and worked it out a little bit. To take it to the next level and bring organisation in my whole project I started making a logo for my concept. This logo will be the starting point of the visuals of the interaction device and will help me to keep all the design features in the same style.
Hi guys! First of all, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to improve my concept in the second stage. There were a couple of things which I didn’t explain or were clear enough in the first round. I’m going to make the following things more clear in this round:
- User context. Where can the user use this product and how? Like, how will this concept be more efficitient and usefull than normal cooking hobs?
- Design. I do want to explore the design of this product a little more. Especially the control device is important, because it’s the only feature of this product. I want to the controls as easy as possible, although aesthetic pleasant.
- Technology. Although I described the technology in the previous stage in the comments, I do want to clearify it more. The main focus of this round is the visual development, the technology is important to keep in mind as well. It’s going to be hard if I design a product which is impossible to produce in the near future. Graphene will be the main material of this product as it’s incredibly strong, light, flexible, it has a perfect heat conduction and can store loads of energy. This energy storage makes it perfect to use this product without an adapter. Flexibility, important!!
- Visual development. The main focus of this round is the visual development. I’ll first make some 1:1 models in the workshop, to see how big the product should be. Afterwards I’ll make a CAD model which I’m going to use to show the product in the user context.
So lots of work to do, but can’t wait to see the end result! Thanks!