The QOOQ tablet is being released in the UK and a group of us were invited over to Paris to check it out. Designed and made in France QOOQ are going for the foodie market in a big way.
The tablet is designed for use in Kitchens, its sturdy, splash resistant, and has content especially designed for those who want to cook. It's a little bit of everything you need if you want to know more about food.
Imagine a constantly updated cooking magazine, recipe book with videos, techniques video tutor, and an ingredient wiki as well. All the content is designed in house from the team who also supply all the food content for Le Figaro and the French edition of the tablet already has a lot of big names chefs involved.
I found the interface quite intuitive; it's based on linux so while it is touch screen you have to forget the Apple patented finger movements that most people are used to. Everything is clear though so it wasn't too difficult to navigate around.
The idea of the day was to get us playing around with the device and we ended up cooking a couple of recipes from one the celebrity chefs involved. Farida was on hand to talk us through and help out as well and whilst I didn't have a clue who she was apparently in France she is pretty well known...
It was good fun; we did notice though that the content needed some work. It's being released for the American and English markets at the same time so the team have to create new English content to support the new markets.
It was easy to spot typos and language more specifically designed for the American market basically. That said it is a work in progress and the device is continually being updated so these are minor issues in the grand scheme of things.
As more and more British chefs get behind the device I think we will see something that has the potential to be quite an interesting product. Whilst we were playing with the tablet I did actually manage to break one.
I asked if I could drop one to see what happened and they were quite happy for me to try it... I don't think they expected me to hold the thing out and drop it straight down.
Even then it was very easy for them to repair but basically you'll be ok from normal work top height but any higher is probably a no no! There is obviously a gap in the market for cooking apps as we are seeing more and more subscriptions based ideas appearing.
Panna is the latest available on the ipad though its offering is much smaller in terms of content and scope. QOOQ though is the only one offering a hardware solution that will stand up to use in a Kitchen.
Would I buy one? In all honesty no but I don't think the device was designed for people like me; I went to college to learn to cook and then spent six years learning the tricks of the trade first hand.
QOOQ rather cannily though realise that people learn from watching. The content is designed in such a way that you watch the cooking and techniques rather than the egos of the cooks involved so the idea is trying to replicate that first hand experience.
After some lunch a good chat over drinks with the team behind the tablet we were whisked over to Chloe's Cupcakes to meet another one of the chefs involved. This was all a bit pink and sweet for my liking so I spent most of my time in the cold smoking outside till we were ready to leave.
Otherwise it was a very enjoyable day! More info on costs on subscription here.