Cooking and eating are two of the most common activities where people customize their experience, be it with preparation or seasoning. I’ve seen a few cool stories over the last week or two that illustrate this potential nicely.
3D Printed Pasta
A modified 3D printer can extrude noodle material into custom shapes. It is a cool proof of concept, but you can imagine how this could potentially be a common place item in arty kitchens. 3D Printers can become quite cheap if you don’t care too much about resolution. Some enterprising chef just needs to think of a few cool dishes to show it off.
Easy Bake Oven Refills
The Easy-Bake oven is a weird product in that it has an ongoing trail of “Consumables” in the form of these refill kits, but are sold at toy stores, not supermarkets. I think a lot of people underestimate the difficulties of making customization work at retail.
Augmented Reality Lollipops
Students at a Japanese university have developed a cool accessory for lollipops that use vibration and bone conduction to help provide different sensations to customers. Based on the tilt of a sensor your get the sensation of fireworks or an “airplane” (I have no idea what that means). It may seem like a silly idea, but a Cleveland design firm created a $450MM business by turning a lollipop accessory into a super-duper toothbrush so this line of research has a lucrative pedigree.
- The scientific quest to print food (cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com)
- Food Customization – High Tech and Low Brow (replicatorinc.com)
- A little bit of culture & a large trunk of food – Taichung, Taiwan (travelpod.com)