Odour Transformer is a portable device for filtering the kitchen odour and moisture. These functions are accomplished through a water vapour sorbents, oil filter and an ioniser. The
latter represents a device which uses high voltage to ionise air molecules. Releasing negative ions traps the airborne particles and reduces the odour, spreading bacteria and mould. The S-shape of the frame will facilitate the adjustments in height and provide better attachment to different pans. The frame’s material will be memory metal. The shape of the filter allows easy visual access to the pan. The device could be powered by thermoelectric converter (for example
thermal diodes). This will increase the device’s price, therefore electricpowered batteries are а possible solution.
Let me take you to a little journey on how everything started…
After building a user profile and a short cooking record illustrated with photos I realized that one of the biggest frustrations in the process of cooking is the cooking odour.
In the process of cooking the actual odour comes from fast particle spreading passively from a high concentration to a low concentration of air. This chemical reaction is called gas diffusion.
At boiling point chemically viewed when a liquid is heated, its particles get more energy and move faster. This makes the liquid expand. At the boiling point, the particles get enough energy to overcome the forces between them. They break away to form a gas. The Diffusion process is faster in hot gases.
According to Chartered Institute of Environment Health the strong offensive odour can cause big impact on people’s lives and well being.
Effects that have been reported by people include nausea, headaches, retching,difficulty breathing, frustration, annoyance, depression, stress, tearfulness, reduced appetite, being woken in the night and embarrassment in front of visitors. All of these
contribute to a reduced quality of life for the individuals who are exposed. Exposure to an odour can result in people becoming desensitised so that they can no longer detect the odour even though the odorous chemical is constantly present in the air. This is sometimes known as olfactory fatigue.
Research group from University of California found that people from different continents have the same perception for pleasant odour. In their experiment were included Chinese, Africans and Indians which found certain odours as pleasant. Even we are shaped by our culture and traditions, the odour perception has a component that is chemically fundamental for everybody. The experiments result shown that olfactory receptor neurons in the human nose recognise equally the pleasant and the unpleasant odours. After all sulphur and methane are the same for every living being. But let’s make a step back and take you to the part where I selected the design problem.
The product user could be everyone who lives in small apartment or flat. Very often kithens in such places are not well ventilated. I have chosen to build a profile of people which most often live in such places.
An ‘aura’ type diagram which you can see on the next page is a very effective approach for understanding the user needs. I tried to be very precise on the audience analysis so I based the user on a one real person, which represent segment of the society. The analysis carried ourt is made according to his blog posts and the topics that he wrote about. The analysed person is a writer of articles for blogs, e-magazines, etc. On the diagram you can see three quotes of the user which started my investigation about the odour problem.
According to payscale.com the salary of a junior journalist is
I have chosen a journalist because it’s the closest profession to the chosen user. Probably the user would gain less than the average pay rate.
According to ACORN (geodemograpchic segmenatation of the UK‘s population) the user is category: Urban Prosperity, Group: Aspiring singles. Type 20: Student Flats and Cosmopolitan Sharers. People in the segment occupies match quiet well with the user profile build in the project. This is because this type of persons occupies small one or two bedroom. They are young, 35% of them are students and large number are just graduated. They tend to spent significant amount most of their money on communication cost (calling friend, texting e-mailing. browsing, etc.), clothing and leisure are also significant. They are likely to spend money on interactive media, games, they love the latest technologies. They make many purchases and booking online. Important fact they like eco-friendly products and they are keen to help in the environmental plan. Some of them eat healthy foods and take vitamins, but many eat fast food and take-aways. They are interested in current news.
From the ACORN segmentation we could confirm that the user could be productively reached via web. His siocial segment tend to spend money online purchasing. Combination of passion to new technologies and healthy food could make the product successful. Fast food lovers will be out of the product
The secondary target audience could be stated Gadget Lovers or the consumers who stay up-to-date on the latest gadgets, are often adopters of new technologies. Finally Food Channel audience is one big group that will be interested in the product.
The developed device is portable so it could be used from user in outdoor places, which expand the consumer scope further.
Even the modern physics theories support the belief that particles move randomly. I believe that we can prevent odour spreading because we are aware of the source. Vaporizing is related to swirling movement to hot air masses. So if we add a component which neutralizes odour and moisture exactly in the moment of formation of these hot masses we would make cooking more pleasurable. In this respect a ioniser placed on the right spot could fulfill the task.
Concept sketch Work in Progress
There are many existing solutions on the market, but still the odour transformer has its market niche because of the many of the existing solutions are not matching with the all consumer needs – a portable and efficient cooking filter like Odour Trasformer.
1 Odour Absorber
The absorber contain two active substances: carbon filter and gel with replacement indicator and fragrance. The product segment price varies from 8 – 24 €; main use is in fridges and wardrobes. The problem with the air fresheners is that they typically mask unpleasant smells with fragrance i.e. they work as a deodorant.
Febreze is a product that was invented by Procter & Gamble and introduced in 1996. The active ingredient in Febreze is beta-cyclodextrin. The cyclodextrin molecule sort of resembles a donut. When you spray Febreze, the water in the product partially dissolves the odor, allowing it to form a complex inside the ‚hole‘ of the cyclodextrin donut shape.
The device prices vary from 32 – 50 €. The main device disadvantage is a alergic reaction observed at some customers. Some customers claim that Febreze just mask the odour for a certain period of time.
3. Extractor fans
Extractor fans are electrical appliances used for ventilation of a room or any enclosed space. Generally, they are used in kitchens, bathrooms or any other utility. They extract the moisture through ventilation and make the room less humid. They move large volumes of hot air outside the room at very low pressures. The segment price is about 25-74 €.
One of the extractor disadvantages is: they cannot develop high pressures, which hinder their performance. Another problem is the noise that they produce, it is frustrating for a lot of user.
4 Cooker hoods
Cooker hoods works on the same principle as extractor fans but they have filter which capture the moisture. They vent fumes or clean the air via ducted hood. That’s why they need access to an external wall. As minuses we can pointed out ducting, changing of filters and removing grease created during the cooking. They are the most expensive and the most effective amongst the considered devices. The segment price start from 100 € (price without ducting and installation process) and it could reaches 1800 € and more. The cooker hoods require proper ducting and permanent fixing.
6. Ozone generators
Ozone generators are similar to Ionisers in work static electricity principle. Practically viewed the device produce ozone through attract an extra oxygen ion to O2 molecule gaseous ion of using either a corona discharge tube or UV light. Ozone in high doses is an active and highly toxic gas for human body and ozone therapy is forbidden in USA. It could damage the lungs and olfactory bulb cells directly.
Odour Transformer Awards:
Electrolux Design Lab – Work In Progress competition 2012
Electrolux, Yanko Design, A
The Electrolux ‘work in progress’ Pinterest competition is simple. If you have any sketches that are a ‘work in progress’ and warrant attention, simply submit it to their Pinterest board. Ten creative projects will be shortlisted and these will go on to adorn a special wall at the main Electrolux Design Lab Final Event.
2012 Electrolux Design Lab Bulgarian Finals
Electrolux Design Lab, Bulgaria
Established in 2003, Electrolux Design Lab is a global design competition open to undergraduate and graduate design students who are invited to present innovative ideas for future households.
Each year Electrolux challenges design students all over the world. The challenge is to create a concept that is relevant to the time and raises questions about what design will be like in the future. In previous years, concepts have been requested…