This is part of our Crowdfunding in Japan series (RSS). Services like KickStarter have become a global phenomenon with the power to let creative individuals take their ideas to new heights. It’s happening here in Japan too, most notably on Campfire, the country’s answer to Kickstarter.
When we think about rapidly advancing technology sectors, we don’t often think about cooking. But if you’ve ever stood impatiently over a boiling pot, mixing vegetables or pasta, this self-stirring pot, named kurokuro nabe, is technology that will likely have you drooling.
It’s a ridiculously simple design, with diagonal gutters along the sides which draw water up to create a whirlpool as water heats up. The result is a wonderful self-mixing pot that should save you the time and trouble of always watching to see when it needs stirring.
If you aren’t already floored by this, let me further point out that since the whirlpool brings bubbles to the center of the pot, it also prevents water from boiling over. Undesirable material like fat or oil also gathers in the middle, and can be scooped out easily.
When video of the prototype was initially posted on YouTube (see video below), it racked up over 740,000 views, far exceeding the expectations of its designers and prompting them to produce a marketable product. It was even featured in prominent Western media like The Huffington Post and Daily Mail.
The funds raised for this project on were earmarked to cover production costs of at least 1000 pots, with trial manufacturing and mass production were to take place in the development department of Toyo Rikagaku Kenkyusho in Niigata Prefecture. That company is so renowned for its technology that Steve Jobs came all the way to Japan to place an order for iPad production there.
Although the creators raised 311,000 yen (almost $3,400) in their Campfire crowdfunding campaign, the project didn’t reach its funding target. Perhaps there’s not much of a crossover between cooking enthusiasts and Campfire backers? But thankfully, this miracle pot is being sold on Amazon Japan, so we’re delighted to see that it’s finally available for purchase.
You can check out more information about kurokuro nabe over on its website (in Japanese).