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A unique cooking app for people with brain dysfunctionsConnected Kitchen

  • Client:
    National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom.
  • Request:
    Development of a mobile app for people with brain dysfunctions.
  • Result:
    The app is used by people suffering from brain dysfunctions.
  • Technologies:
    • Android SDK
    • Gson
    • Retrofit
    • Google speech recognizer
    • Google Text-to-Speech

Challenge

The client is the National Health Service (NHS), United Kingdom. The goal of the project was to provide all residents of the country with free medical care.

Our company was assigned to the project as an expert in mobile development. We already had vast experience in building healthcare solutions that required interaction with external devices.

NHS requested to develop a mobile app for people with brain dysfunctions. The Connected Kitchen app was designed to help people with neurological disorders to cook independently. Cogniteq task was to provide the development of all the app functionality.

Solution

Cogniteq developed the Connected Kitchen application for the Android platform. Our Android team considered all the requirements of the NHS and developed the functionality in a way that best met the needs of people with brain dysfunctions.

  • Recipes download from the server
    The Connected Kitchen app contains very simple recipes with detailed step-by-step cooking instructions.

    There, we described in detail:
    • All the ingredients necessary
    • All the necessary tools
    • Cooking sequence
    • Tips on when to alter the temperature
      NHS employees download all recipes on their own from the server.  
  • Offline mode
    One of the requirements for the application was to ensure its operation offline. Internet connection is only required at the very first start. Then the application downloads all recipes and the user can work offline.
  • Voice control
    One of the key requirements of the NHS was to provide voice control for the app. Our experts integrated this feature for the main features of the application:  
    • Find me a <food> recipe
    • Start recipe
    • Next step
    • Previous step
    • Repeat step
    • Stop cooking

    The implementation of this functionality was not straightforward. The difficulty was that each user could pronounce words with a different accent and sometimes unintelligibly. Thus the application could run a wrong command or fail to perform at all. Our mobile team selected the maximum set of words with similar sound combinations for each command and made sure that the commands in the app also responded to these words.
  • Synchronization with a special bracelet
    We faced the problem where people with brain dysfunctions could start cooking, then leave the kitchen and forget about what they were doing.

    Our developers synchronized the Connected Kitchen functionality with a bracelet via Bluetooth. The difficulty of this task was that not all devices work equally well via Bluetooth. Therefore in order to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the application we needed to test a fairly large number of devices.

    Our experts created a bracelet settings screen in Connected Kitchen. When starting the application, the user needs to configure the kitchen area.  If the user moves outside the kitchen zone the bracelet produces sounds and vibrates as an alert.

    The bracelet also acts as a reminder in the kitchen when the user has to move to the next stage of cooking - the bracelet starts to give signals even if the user is located in the kitchen.
  • Text messages
    Mobile developers have created another way to prevent issues if the user forgets about cooking. If the user does not make the transition to the next step within a specific time the app sends notification to a server which subsequently informs a designated contact person with a warning about the situation.
  • Voicing recipes
    One of the requests of the NHS was the capability to voice all recipes. To implement this requirement, our experts used Text-to-Speech technology by Google.

Result

  • Image
    Cogniteq team has developed an application that fully meets the requirements and expectations of the client.
  • Image
    Connected Kitchen is actively being introduced to people with brain dysfunctions and has proven to be an effective and suitable solution given their condition.