Spirulina is fast emerging at the forefront of superfoods. With a protein content of 65%, exceeding that of meat-based products, and 50% more iron than spinach, people around the world are becoming more interested in this nutrient-rich microalgae. Spirulina is already being used as a supplement in third world countries.
Through personal consumption, user questioning, and further market research, I found that one of the main problems with existing spirulina products is the taste. Dried spirulina has an earthy and unpleasant taste which can overpower other flavours. This is one of the main factors that can put people off the product. However, spirulina in its natural and fresh state is tasteless. The challenge - how to create a product that brings fresh spirulina to the consumer whilst encouraging green living and wellness at home.
To learn more about cultivating spirulina. I invested in a culture kit to widen my knowledge on growth rate and yield per cultivation. Multiple testing demonstrated that 250 ml of live spirulina cultivated in 3L of sterilised water produces 3 grams of fresh spirulina - the equivalent vitamins and minerals of 5 servings of vegetables.
During the ideation, I sketched out various concepts exploring form, geometric shape and product details whilst focusing on the challenges of the internal components and elements.
ALVEO works in a cycle, with all excess water and spirulina being reused in the production of the next harvest. The harvested spirulina is removed from the filter on the small discharge container and is ready for use in smoothies, cakes, and protein shakes. Everything left over is returned to the culture through the lid.
Home cultivation of spirulina reduces the consumer's food mileage inturn helping to reduce the commercial production of dried spirulina. The natural air purifying properties of spirulina improves the air quality in the home through photosynthesis. Wastage created from home cultivation can be reused in the production of the next harvest.
The Dial operates using an interactive touch-sensitive screen with three simple command modes. Turning the dial enables you to access the different screens. Small engraved decals on the outer rim of the dial indicate how far you have to turn for each function. The screen then automatically adapts to the function needed.
Microalgae, and spirulina in particular, have a number of adaptable culinary properties. Alveo offers you the opportunity to use your own freshly harvested spirulina in a variety of ways through different recipes. The recipes are presented in a recipe book and in the Alveo App, or can be ordered as individual recipe cards.
The Alveo Mobile App is designed to help the consumer stay connected to the product and the brand. The app helps to keep you in the loop with everything Alveo, through notifications about your harvest, alerts to re-order parts, and if your latest subscription has been dispatched. The app acts as a platform allowing the consumer to build their own profile where they can store recipes and monitor their Alveo, looking at temperature and time since last harvest all in the palm of their hand.
Alveo aims to bring a sense of wellness to both the kitchen and consumer by introducing this superfood of the future to the home.