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Interactive Ingredients - Musings and reflections by Yvonne Rogers on food, aging, cooking, creativity and technology in her everyday encounters as part of her dream fellowship.

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Surveillance Madness

Surveillance Madness

Recently, I read a newspaper article about a family who were having dinner in a restaurant when they all received an alert on their phones saying that someone had activated their home security system. They clicked... Read more →


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Creepy Data

Creepy Data

A couple of weeks ago I gave a seminar at Stanford University entitled ‘Revealing data: creepy or curious’. Much of my research has been driven by a desire to encourage people to be more curious about... Read more →


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Plastic Robots

Plastic Robots

Six months ago, I was all in favour of the arrival of interactive androgynous robots in public places, like shopping malls and airports, that had the potential to be equally appealing and entertaining to kids of... Read more →


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Alarming Alert

Alarming Alert

When I lived in the mid-west in the US, I used to go swimming in the Olympic-sized outdoors pool at the University I was working at. One afternoon, I jumped in and started doing my strokes... Read more →


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Smart AI

Smart AI

One of my PhD students has been investigating how environmental sensors can be situated in community gardens to provide new data about light levels. The motivation stems from wanting to help the volunteers who work in... Read more →


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Opera Moments

Opera Moments

The other day, I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new exhibition “Opera: Passion, Power and Politics”. This latest extravaganza explores the context, history and origins of seven great operas in seven magnificent cities, from... Read more →


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Alpha Generation

Alpha Generation

When does childhood innocence disappear?  Does it get younger for each generation as they get caught up in the all encompassing digital world? The other day I was asked by a writer from Wired UK to... Read more →


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Grown-up Robots

Grown-up Robots

When visiting the vast Westfield Emporium in San Francisco last week I came across my first Pepper Robot. It was performing in front of an attentive young man in a cordoned off area next to an... Read more →


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Driverless Cars

Driverless Cars

We hear all the time now about how driverless cars will revolutionize the automobile industry. Billions of dollars, yen and euros are being poured into research labs throughout the world to make this happen. The race... Read more →


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Game Changer

Game Changer

A couple of months ago when visiting Cape Town, a friend asked me to take a Fidget cube over for her son. I did not think anything of it at the time other than noticing it... Read more →


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Face Age

Face Age

I have been watching episodes of “Tonight at the London Palladium” on ITV for the last couple of weeks. My interest was whetted when seeing one of my former schoolmates, Bradley Walsh, hosting it. He is... Read more →


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Fake News

Fake News

At what age do children stop believing in Father Christmas? I think I was about five when I saw my mother stealthily entering my bedroom with a stocking stuffed with presents ‘from Santa’ and placing it... Read more →


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Super Robots

Super Robots

I visited some friends for dinner last night and in the corner of their living room I spied a Roomba. I asked them if they still used it and they enthused how it was one of... Read more →


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Roving Eyes

Roving Eyes

It is now increasingly common to see bobbies on the beat wearing body cams. Millions of drivers have in recent years bought dash cams for their cars. More cyclists are attaching Go-Pros cams to their helmets.... Read more →


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The i360

The i360

The latest attraction in Brighton, the i360, opened a few weeks ago to much fanfare and a bit of grumpiness. On the website, British Airways who are behind the project proudly proclaim, “Take a flight to... Read more →


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Street Party

Street Party

Each year my street has a summer party to which everyone in the street and adjoining roads is invited. I have managed to be on holiday for the last few years and have missed it. But... Read more →


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All-electric Car

All-electric Car

Driving a fully electric car for the first time felt like being in an ultra turbo charged golf buggy. Well, the acceleration and deceleration part of driving. Instead of going vroom vroom when you put your... Read more →


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Cognitive Dressing

Cognitive Dressing

There is so much hype about AI at the moment; how it is going to transform society in so many ways. The 4th industrial revolution seems to be in our midst. Our lives will be made... Read more →


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Super Smellers

Super Smellers

Last night the weather suddenly turned into a full on symphony as I made a dash from the train to the taxi rank; all at once rain started lashing, wind howling, lightning sheeting, thunder cracking, reaching... Read more →


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Pigeon Carriers

Pigeon Carriers

I came across an article in the news about using pigeons to monitor air pollution levels in London. 12 carrier pigeons have each been strapped with a backpack full of sensor technologies that can detect nitrogen... Read more →


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Which Reality?

Which Reality?

Virtual Reality is all the rage again. Last week Mark Zuckerberg extolled the joys of not only being able to see and interact in virtual worlds but to be able to record those special moments, yourself,... Read more →


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Creative Charities

Creative Charities

While waiting for my coffee to be made at Costas I noticed a lemon floating in a cup of water on the counter with a tantalizing teaser besides it: “balance 20p on the lemon and win... Read more →


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Hot Shots

Hot Shots

Everywhere you look now there are people – the majority young girls – taking photos of themselves, whether it is on the beach, up a mountain, at a party, or in front of a famous landmark.... Read more →


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Cashless Society

Cashless Society

Every Thursday a bustling Farmer’s Market comes to our university campus. It is a feast for the eyes and nostrils. Giant pans of steaming paella, sizzling burgers and other culinary delights await the throngs of students... Read more →


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Futuristic Videos

Futuristic Videos

It has become increasingly popular for companies to make a YouTube video that depicts their world of future living. Some are intended to show what is possible now and others what it will be like in... Read more →


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British Bake-Off

British Bake-Off

I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between two ladies, in their eighties, sitting at the next table to me at Costa Coffee as I was trying to do some marking. It was much more riveting than... Read more →


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Sudden Death

Sudden Death

While waiting in the queue to get a coffee I overheard a young man regaling the story of how his aunt had fallen off the side of a mountain and died on impact. Not any old... Read more →


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Ninja Talk

Ninja Talk

Many of us dread going to the hairdressers as much as we do when visiting the dentist. Having to engage in small talk for an hour or so can be quite exasperating. After the first few... Read more →


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Sense-able Cars?

Sense-able Cars?

Last week, when on a road trip in Ireland, a worrying ping followed by a warning light appeared on the dashboard – as we were merrily cruising along a remote country road. The car was asking... Read more →


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Super Technology

Super Technology

My smartphone beeps. This time, a message from my fridge alerting me to buy milk on the way home. This rather tired example of smart technology is still being rolled out whenever anyone talks about the... Read more →


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Smart Time

Smart Time

While travelling on the Heathrow Express into London I had one of those envy moments. As the ticket inspector came into the carriage I fumbled in my bag for my ticket that I had just bought... Read more →


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Sheer Delight

Sheer Delight

Last week I watched a 16 year-old girl dissect a cow’s eye in front of a bunch of 6-12 year olds at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. It was gripping seeing her pulling bits of muscle... Read more →


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Ten Pieces

Ten Pieces

Ten Pieces is a BBC initiative to inspire a generation of primary school children to listen to, explore, and get creative with classical music. It is the brainchild of Katy Jones, an executive producer at the... Read more →


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360 Degrees

360 Degrees

My office manager asked me if I would do a 360 degree feedback process for her about the way she behaves at work. I tried to imagine what that would entail – moving around her from... Read more →


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Social Niceties

Social Niceties

“You’re a jerk!” The words spat venomously from behind me. I looked behind, startled, and saw someone I knew from a while back. She continued: “Why didn’t you get in touch? You’re a jerk!” I replied,... Read more →


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Book Power

Book Power

Most of us have returned to work this week after a prolonged festive break, indulging in a diet of over-eating, sleeping, drinking, relaxing, watching TV, and meeting up with friends and family. Our brains were given... Read more →


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Japanese Blooper

Japanese Blooper

One of the delights of going to a foreign country is discovering the different ways of doing things in all manners, from greeting someone to sharing a meal. Japan, for example, where I am currently visiting... Read more →


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Call Buttons

Call Buttons

Pressing buttons is often irrepressible. You can’t help yourself when you see one just asking to be touched. The other day, I was at a meeting where someone proudly proclaimed how they love to push the... Read more →


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Breaking Bad News

Breaking Bad News

There is never a good way to receive bad news. We all dread the scenario of the doctor telling you the results of scans and tests that indicate you have terminal cancer or the policeman knocking... Read more →


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Bushy Tailed

Bushy Tailed

Today I found myself jumping and jigging around with a large furry tail strapped around my waist. I had been invited to a preview of a new theatre production called Dusk devised and directed by David... Read more →


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How Much?

How Much?

There is a lovely fish market called Hatch’s next to where we are staying on vacation in Cape Cod. There is always a queue of people inside buying from the many different kinds of fish on... Read more →


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Data Slices

Data Slices

British Airways sent me an email a few months ago with the teasing subject line, “Want to know how many miles you’ve flown with us, Dr Rogers?” I was intrigued and clicked on the link. It... Read more →


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Voicing Opinions

Voicing Opinions

This morning I received an evaluation summary, via email, about a conference I gave a keynote at a few weeks ago. It presented lots of pie charts and collated all the comments attendees had cared to... Read more →


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Data-Assisted Living

Data-Assisted Living

Last week I gave a talk about how to change behaviour using a variety of technologies and nudges at the Eco Technology Show in Brighton. Bizarrely, the seminar area was surrounded with seriously high performance electric... Read more →


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Special Assistance

Special Assistance

I have never really given much thought to special assistance provided at airports until now other than wondering if I could feign a broken foot to get upgraded to business (which never works anyway). However, this... Read more →


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Tube Encounters

Tube Encounters

In a round table monthly meeting this morning, one of our researchers started talking about a new new app he was building that would enable passengers on the London Underground to meet each other digitally and... Read more →


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High-Tech Shopping

High-Tech Shopping

Last week I spent a whole morning at a mega Sainsbury’s supermarket in Chingford, somewhere on the outskirts of East London. The British TV series, Gadget Man was filming content for a new show and they... Read more →


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Cloud Talk

Cloud Talk

Google Glass has been unleashed now for several months. Volunteer researchers are trying them out and developing a range of apps for them. Up until now I’ve only seen photos of people wearing them but last... Read more →


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Swallowed Up

Swallowed Up

There has been a lot of online chatter about Facebook’s two recent big buyouts of minnow companies; a whopping $19 billion for WhatsApp and a further $2 billion for Oculus Rift. The first has millions of... Read more →


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Big Decisions

Big Decisions

For the last few months I have been toying with whether to buy a brand new car or a used one. Everyone tells me to buy one that is a few years old as it is... Read more →