We've seen a variety of futuristic dining approaches, like Baggers, the waiterless restaurant in Germany, and now we see the TEC-designed pop-up Tobidasu Menu built into restaurant tables.
Customers sitting at the table needn't interact with servers, saving the restaurants money and eliminating communication errors. Restaurant patrons can peruse 3D images of the menu which can make selection a lot easier. Not only that, but the interactive table does some really cool stuff. For example, you can â€œliftâ€ the bun on the virtual burger and the contents, from onions to burger patty, below it is revealed.
This could be especially fantastic for tourism. Imagine traveling to a foreign country where you're not familiar with the local language; eating can be a bit of a scary affair, but if restaurants enabled patrons to see the items before ordering, it could make exotic dining a lot easier. Of course for the more adventurous types, it could take the fun out of it.
Another company, Teraoka, had already created something called the Deli Touch pen, which likely aided as the inspiration for Tobidasu's 3D table menu. The Deli Touch Pen lets customers scan special pens across barcodes on menus and the order is sent straight to the kitchen. A great idea to save money on staff, but picky eaters won't like that customization can't easily be done with this method. It's shown in the video, but unfortunately the demo is in Chinese.