Ambient Kitchen


The Ambient Kitchen uses various sensors and technologies to give people the chance to remain at home longer.

Conditions such as dementia can have a sizeable impact on a person’s ability to remain independent. Even simple tasks like making a cup of tea can prove problematic. The Ambient Kitchen assists with these simple but valued tasks, creating an environment that recognises what activity the person is performing, and assisting where necessary.

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This could involve putting accelerometers in knives and spoons to track movement, pressure sensors in the floor to record movement, or projections on the wall to present valuable directions or information. Researchers are working on increasing the number of activities for which the system can provide support, and on refining the system so that it can be customised for a wide range of people.

The Ambient Kitchen has also prompted spin-offs such as The French Kitchen. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has supported the Language Learning in the Wild project, which uses the principle of Task-Based Language Learning to give people a way to learn a new language by associating words and phrases with common cooking tasks. Users can ask for further instructions, repetition or a translation by clicking a touch-screen which is incorporated into the kitchen.

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Patrick Olivier (
Dan Jackson (

A description of SNAP 1.0, our first system for prompting people with dementia using the Ambient Kitchen is described in our paper Rapid specification and automated generation of prompting systems to assist people with dementia, currently in press in the journal of Pervasive and Mobile Computing:

The Ambient Kitchen was featured in a special edition of the BBC programme Horizon
More ambient kitchen footage:>
Language Learning in the Wild

Press coverage: