Black background, white text. Text says, Siri set an alarm for 60 minutes.

By Jen Gosett, BS, CTRS, MATP Staff

For any of us who enjoy cooking and baking, we know that time is a key ingredient of many recipes.  How long we need to bake cupcakes for, boil water & noodles for, fry an egg, etc. can mean the difference between delicious and disgusting!  The built-in timers on a lot of ovens/appliances are not great to use: text is tiny/hard to read, buttons are cumbersome or inaccurate, the alarm is too quiet or way too loud, etc.

Last year, I started using Siri to tell me when my scones had been in the oven for long enough (usually 16 minutes for my oven).  Early on I learned an important lesson: Siri is not always a great listener.  When I said, “Siri set an alarm for 16 minutes”, Siri heard “Siri set an alarm for 60 minutes.”  There is a huge difference between 16 minutes and 60!  Luckily, my sense of smell helped me realize the error and I was able to get the scones out before they burned!  I told this story to a friend of mine and he suggested telling Siri “one six” instead of “sixteen”.  I tried his idea out and I haven’t had a problem since (fingers crossed).

Scones

There are a lot of alternatives to the standard, built-in timers (including voice assistants like Siri and Alexa) and I’ve included a few in this post.  If you think you might be interested in trying some of these out, contact your local Disability Network and ask for an AT (Assistive Technology) demonstration.  You’ll get to use various kinds of timers and see if they are a good fit/learn about other options.

Screen capture of the Easy UP/down Timers appiTunes App: Easy Up/Down Timer

Timer with number buttons and screen Taylor 10 Key Style Timer

Alarmed app logo iTunes App Alarmed

Pocket Talking Timer and ClockPocket Talking Timer and Clock

Time Tracker Visual ClockTime Tracker Visual Timer & Clock

Time Timer clock screen iTunes App: Time Timer

Round kitchen timer (not digital)Large Print timer

Happy cooking & baking!  Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, Tasty Tools: Assistive Technology in the Kitchen!  Here’s Part 1 if you missed it.