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We’ve been working on different ways to control your appliances. Yes, you can already use your smart phone to change settings and receive notifications. But, what about using your voice or gestures to control them?

We’ve built a couple vent hood prototypes to demonstrate these features and we think they’re pretty cool!

The first one uses voice control by utilizing the Amazon Echo speaker to turn the fan and the LED lights on and off. All you have to say is “Echo, turn the lights on”. We can also control the speed of the fan by saying: “Echo, turn the exhaust to 4”. Thanks to our friend Bill Gardner from the refrigeration team at GE Appliances who taught us how to interface with the Amazon service.

The second prototype is controlled by gestures. You can waive your hand left to right to turn the fan on/off and increase or decrease the speed. Similarly you can waive your hand up or down to turn the lights on or off. This one was prototyped by a group of capstone students from Purdue University.

So, the question is, would you rather have a voice activated or gesture controlled vent hood?

3 thoughts on “Voice-Activated or Gesture-Controlled?

  1. Definitely gesture control for me. Cooking is often a communal activity, and having to convince everyone to stop talking every time you need to control the hood would likely push users back to manual controls when not cooking alone. Gesture controls would also be more reliable in the often noisy environment of a busy kitchen.

  2. Voice control would be cool but may get fooled by ambient noise, like the vent hood fan itself. The design of the gestures needs to be different from normal cooking gestures, like stirring, flipping, takes the lid off of a pot, etc.

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