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We’ve spoken a lot about the use of tech at the table and how visual projections will become a common occurrence in restaurants over the next few years. From multi sensory dining with projects like Ultraviolet and El Somni, the technology is now trickling down and being picked up by larger chains, however, are the way these companies use the ideas always for the better? Franc Aleu, the creator of El Somni, warned of a future where tables would be cluttered with visual projections and true to this prediction the restaurant chain Pizza Hut has just stepped into the visual mix with a new concept allowing customers to order their food using an interactive table.
The chain enlisted the help of the design team at Chaotic Moon Studios to look to a future without waiters, where hi-tech tables allow users to build their own pizzas by literally dragging ingredients on top of a digital pizza base projected directly on the centre of the table.
There's no word as to when the new concept will be available but the idea is to link it directly with user's smartphones allowing them to pay for their order through a simple app - no human interaction necessary - if that’s your kind of thing. You don't even have to speak with you dining companion, instead just open up one of the built in table games and spend the entire meal trying to destroy a wall of green pigs by hurling what are, understandably angry birds in their direction. And if for some god forsaken reason you do need to speak with your guest, or dining node as they'll most probably be called, you can just use the table to send them a quick message on What's App, a little awkward if they choose not to respond.
In a bid to cut the need for any eye contact whatsoever, perhaps a robot could also deliver the pizza? Maybe a drone that air drops the custom creation directly to the table? Not so far fetched, really, it's not.
The videos below show a number of attempts to ditch the need for human servers. Robotic sushi bars, drone delivery and vending machines offering freshly prepared meals like pizza. Are we really heading to a future without the most basic of interactions? The smile, hello, please and thankyou often taken for granted in restaurants, replaced with a rudimentary flick, swipe, click and scan of some hyped up table Tron? I guess that's for us all to decide.
Sushi Drone - Is it really needed?
Pizza Vending, what would mama say?
Automated Restaurants - no tips required.
We might not even need humans in the kitchen soon.
Pizza Hut video via Eater