A Watched Pot Never Boils

By David Chatting, Tom Juby, John Bowers and Chris Reason. Based on an original idea from Jon Sutton.

What’s the use of watching? A watched pot never boils. [1848 Gaskell, Mary Barton]

A kettle that is aware of being watched and only boils when ignored. All aspects of the kettle are simulated: the sounds of boiling are synthesized- even the steam is cold! The kettle is aware of observers with three cameras that watch for faces, using computer vision techniques.

The hardware of the kettle is driven by an Arduino board, which is controlled by software written using OpenFrameworks, which controls the PD audio synthesis via the OSC protocol.