JULIA was a deep dive into the interaction and display opportunities afforded by cutting-edge gestural and speech technologies. It was envisioned as a spatial point-of-entry into the New York Times’ deep archive of recipe material. JULIA’s lead designer, Agnes Chang, went on to lead the NYT Cooking product.

JULIA offers a continuous-capture feature thanks to an embedded overhead webcam, as well as a “live” countertop that serves as a projection surface; this way, the recipe information, right down to the mise en place, is exactly where you need it. Video playback from the countertop meshes elegantly with the overhead camera’s continuous-capture functionality, allowing a cook to see a procedure like “chiffonade,” and then record and compare the different times he/she has tried that technique. Ubiquitous voice transcription allows you to retain the impromptu joy of cooking by verbally annotating the current recipe (your variations are stored for later comparison).

Working closely with Agnes, I assisted with the initial conceptual development and made sure we had a desirable and implementable feature-set. Once that had been determined, I designed and deployed the embedded proximity, camera, and voice systems that allow JULIA to offer a (possibly-chicken-soiled) hands-free interaction experience. I also designed the system’s modular enclosure and several custom 3-d printed sensor mounts.

All the good images in this gallery are by kind courtesy of Agnes Chang.