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Old 10-05-2009, 12:21 AM   #1
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Measuring Cups

Hi!

My name is Matt Finder and I am a 3rd year product design student at Carnegie Mellon University. I love food and have recently been trying to become better at cooking, so, for my mid-semester project, I decided to design a product for measuring cooking ingredients to replace traditional measuring cups and spoons, and I hope to make the design more useful for blind and sighted users alike. I am trying to get as much feedback as possible so I can design something that will really make a difference for both blind and sighted users, so I have been posting around cooking forums that I have joined to hear what sighted cooking and food lovers have to say.

If you have anything to share, such as what types of measuring cups you currently use, how you use them, what you do or don't like about your measuring cups, or anything else about measuring cups, I would love to hear about it. If you have any visually impaired friends or relatives and know about how they use measuring cups, that would be amazingly helpful as well. Also, if you have any photos that you would like to share, that would be great, too!

Thanks so much!

Matt

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Old 10-05-2009, 11:03 AM   #2
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That's an ambitious undertaking! I'm impressed. I don't know how much you know about cooking, so forgive me if you already know this, but there are different measuring tools for dry and liquid ingredients. Liquid ingredients are usually measured in something like this. I also have one of these for measuring small amounts. I would imagine these would be difficult for someone who is visually impaired, because using them accurately relies on pouring the liquid in until it reaches the appropriate line painted on the outside of the cup. There's also a gap of a half-to-several-inch(es) between the top painted line and the top of the cup. This helps avoid spills, but again might make it harder for a blind person, because they can't just fill the cup to the top and know it's the right amount (which they can do with dry measuring cups).
It might be useful for someone who's visually impaired to have individual liquid measuring cups for each of the common quantities - 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 1 cup. That way they can fill the cups and know they have the right amount. To make them easier to use, you could keep the margin at the top (to help avoid spills) but have a raised line inside the cup that the person could feel to gauge the correct level of the liquid.
You could also look into a smaller version of this for small liquid measurements - 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, and 1 tbps would probably be sufficient.
Hope this makes sense! And good luck with your project!
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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A few links to cool measuring tools for inspiration:
Crate and Barrel - Adjust-a-Cup shopping in Crate and Barrel Kitchen Gadgets
Crate and Barrel - Oil & Vinegar Pump Bottle shopping in Crate and Barrel Kitchen Gadgets
:)
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple*tart View Post
I don't know how much you know about cooking, so forgive me if you already know this, but there are different measuring tools for dry and liquid ingredients.
This is exactly what I came to post. I can not speak to the blindness issue. Measuring cups are pretty simple things that work quite well so I am not sure how they could be improved. The first thing I thought of was it would be cool if you could somehow combine the dry measure and liquid measure into one device. For me, that would be a worthwhile feature.

Interestingly, the other day I saw a new design for measuring cups. It was a flexible measuring cup so that you could more easily pour the contents. I have never had a problem using the pour spout on my measuring cups, but i guess if some people do then a flexible cup might work well for them.

For the blind, would you be able to make a cup so that it sounds an audible sound when the liquid level gets to where you want?
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Check out some of these sites:
measuring cups for the blind - Google Search
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:47 PM   #6
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GB: Thanks for mentioning the flexible measuring cups and the rest of your advice.

apple*tart: Thanks for the feedback, all of your comments and suggestions about measuring cups were very helpful! Also, thanks for the links.

Matt
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