Kitchen Thrill-o-meter

Kitchen Thrill-o-meter


Have you ever woken up and wondered “what will happen if I attach electrodes to a baby’s foot, and turn up the electricity just a teeny-weeny little bit”. No? Me neither. But this is what Thrill Laboratory proposed to do as part of an experiment for the fantastic folk at Ella’s Kitchen. This was scientific research conducted in the name of thrilling baby food… or to help make a video to advertise baby food… it’s all a blur. Watch the video, and you’ll find out more.

“Food really is so exciting for little ones – whether it’s a first taste of cinnamon, juicy mango or exotic coconut.  Different foods do provoke different physiological responses and this innovative study was designed to try and measure just how thrilling different foods are for little ones and to help Ella’s Kitchen continue to explore and understand little ones taste buds.”

That’s what I said to the press, backed up by the real scientific data our Thrill-o-meter produced. Very serious stuff, although you wouldn’t know it if you attended our experiment, and saw the amount of fun being had by me, the babies, mums and dads, photography crew, and clients from Ella’s Kitchen. Pretty soon we were all wired up, sucking lemons, and licking cinnamon sticks!

The Thrill-o-meter was designed by Thrill Laboratory and produced with assistance from Middlesex University’s Department of Engineering and Mathematics. We monitored Electrodermal Activity (EDA) in babies feet, which involves passing tiny electrical currents from one electrode to another. Don’t be alarmed – this battery powered medical monitoring technology is optically isolated from the mains! As a baby becomes excited, the pores in their skin open up in direct proportion to the amount of excitement; and as their pores open up, electrical resistance goes down – which we can monitor accurately in real time. The trick comes in equipment calibration and experimental procedure – which is our secret, along with building massive display panels.

Fun fact: scientists usually monitor EDA by placing electrodes on fingers. The hands have a high concentration of sweat pores compared to any other place on the human body… except the feet! “It’s evolution, init?” as Darwin would say. Clammy hands and feet still help our primate cousins to clamber trees today. Our little ones thought it was ticklishly-hilarious to have someone attach wires to their toes. This left their tiny hands to get as sticky as they wanted when enjoying our ten gastronomic delights. Yum!