TasteTro began for us in 2012 when we were approached by an entrepreneurial group with an idea to revolutionize the way in which many users interact with spices and spice blends.  Born out of a frustrating experience while seeking inspiration in a grocery store spice aisle, the concept was to bring healthy eating and taste variety to the fingertips of home chefs through an interactive and automated spice appliance. We jumped in with both feet and began to get up to speed on the history of spices, the current market landscape and the existing consumer experience, then began partnering with TasteTro to support their development with our Product Design and Mechanical Engineering expertise.

With no roadmap or pre-existing machine to work from, we began by bread boarding the necessary steps for organization, selection, dispensing, isolation and blending to create concepts around how each component might work, as well as, how holistically the design might emerge.  We broke down each element of the operation to its most efficient means then explored many options to most effectively connect each element with the user flow of the machine while building aesthetic envelopes that both informed the mechanical organization and accommodated the needs for operation.

At a stage where we felt we had made headway on many of the aspects of the design, we had a semi-functioning alpha prototype built and supported TasteTro in conducting consumer research in 3 markets to engage with the test-group to further evaluate and develop ideas, capture feedback and assess potential product adoption.  This engagement was highly productive and informed decisions on many aspects of the design while improving our understanding of the target customers.

Building off the evaluation of the first prototype, we enacted upon a list of changes to the existing design and further honed the mechanic elements towards a fully functioning Beta prototype.  As the team identified additional partners, manufacturers and suppliers, we worked with these new entities to refine each vital aspect of the design.  After re-engaging with select members of our initial research group to assess our progress and when we became confident in the final design, the patents were filed and the building of the Beta began.  With this fully operational prototype in hand, TasteTro has now entered a public phase of the process and is actively seeking marquis retail partners to launch this 'new to world' product into the consumer marketplace.

Images courtesy of TasteTro.  
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