Tag Archives: Gizmag

Interactive tabletops usher in the dining experience of tomorrow

Not only will robots soon replace bellhops during your next hotel stay, it appears the restaurant of tomorrow will be swapping out waiters and paper menus for multi-touch, interactive tabletops. Imagine not having to wait for a server to place an order. What if learning more about the dish you’re about order was only a mere tap away?


Writing for Gizmag, Ben Coxworth reveals that the Interactive Restaurant Technology (IRT) system represents an innovative way to make dining establishments more attractive, engaging and of course, high-tech. Upon sitting down, users begin by selecting a language of their choice. The unique tabletop then displays photos and detailed information on each the entrees, drinks and other menu items. Once they’ve decided on what they want, diners simply request it via the table’s waterproof touchscreen, and the order is instantly relayed to the kitchen.

As a child, you probably enjoyed playing with crayons on paper table mats, or in today’s tech-savvy world, tagging along your mobile device. Thanks to the multi-touch tabletop, patrons can now use the surface to keep themselves busy while waiting for their food to arrive with activities like playing games, reading the news, socializing with fellow patrons, or even receive live broadcasts from the kitchen. The company also offers the option of integrating screens on the walls, bar counters or other surfaces into the system, for purposes such as advertising special menu items or drinks, Gizmag notes.

Though a number of other interactive restaurant systems do also exist, the Ukranian tech firm claims that the “world’s first ultra HD interactive table” is dynamic in that the display occupies the table’s entire surface, features a backlit LED display and allows users to do more than just place orders. According to the company, its technology supports an unlimited number of touches, and “will keep working even if every single visitor sitting after the table will put his hands on the surface.”


“It is also about creating an atmosphere where the customer can have a good time, socialize with other patrons, meet new people, learn something new,” the company writes on their website. “So why do restaurateurs still offer traditional and boring solutions in the world where people are used to being online, using touch phones and voting for their favorite brands by likes?”

So far, IRT has been implemented in two restaurants — Oshi in Cyprus and Ebony in Dubai. Among other things, Gizmag says the multi-touch system will reportedly recognize returning customers when they place their smartphone on the table, and recommend dishes or drinks based on their previous orders.

What’s next? Perhaps a drone food server? Oh, wait… that’s already happened!


Video: This (physical) filing cabinet is interactive

Designer Jaap de Maat of London’s Royal College of Art recently debuted an exhibit titled “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

As GizMag’s Adam Williams reports, the exhibit is essentially an autonomous filing cabinet designed to follow people around.

“In the digital age it has become easier to look back with great accuracy,” de Maat explained in a project description.

“But this development contains hidden dangers, as those stored recollections can easily be misinterpreted and manipulated. That sobering thought should rule our online behavior, because the traces we leave behind now will follow us around for ever.”

According to Williams, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” is built around a modded filing cabinet fitted with an electric wheelchair (+ battery), an Atmel-based Arduino board, a BT2S Bluetooth interface and HC-SR04 distance sensors.

So, how does it work? Well, the cabinet is linked to a webcam via Bluetooth, which scans the room for movement.

“When the webcam finds a person, it sends the relevant location to the Arduino, which in turn controls the wheelchair motors and directs the cabinet toward that person,” Williams added.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.

Samsung builds a Smart Bike

Designed by Italian frame-builder Giovanni Pelizzoli and student Alice Biotti, the Samsung Smart Bike is built around an aluminum frame that boasts curved tubes to soak up vibrations from riding on rough city streets.

As Gizmag’s Ben Coxworth reports, a rearview camera is located between the seat stays of the frame to stream live video feeds to a handlebar-mounted Samsung smartphone.

“There are four lasers built into the frame, that project a bike lane onto the road on either side of the bike, as it’s moving. Those lasers automatically come on as ambient light levels drop, as detected by the smartphone,” writes Coxworth.

“Additionally, an app on the phone uses GPS to make a note of routes that are often traveled by the cyclist. It then offers the option of notifying city officials of those routes, with the suggestion that they add officially-designated bicycle lanes.”

The frame is also equipped with a battery, Atmel based Arduino board, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth modules.

Interested in learning more? Ride on over to Smart Bike’s official page here.

Lucid Stead illuminates the desert with Arduino

Phillip K Smith III has created a rather unique work of art in the California desert using an old shack tricked out with an Atmel-based Arduino board and LEDs. According to Gizmag’s Adam Williams, the solar-powered structure is designed to change color throughout the day like a chameleon.

“A curious blend of architecture and art project, Lucid Stead is located on a sizable plot of land owned by the artist himself. The [renovation] process involved adding mirrored strips to the exterior of the shack, and installing a custom Arduino-controlled electronics setup inside,” Williams explained.

“The Arduino is programmed to slowly change the color of several LEDs, also placed inside, which shine light out of the four windows and door as the day progresses. It’s a simple enough concept, but the effect is striking and makes the building seem to almost disappear, or glow, depending on its state.”

Interestingly, the solar panels were installed some distance away from the shack on a temporary frame, hidden behind already existing desert plants. A battery array, which provides power at night, is also located on the same unobtrusive framework, with wires buried underground to avoid spoiling the minimalist style of the project.

Clearly, Lucid Stead is all about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert.

“Like the enveloping vista that changes hue as time passes, Lucid Stead transforms. In daylight the 70 year old homesteader shack, that serves as the armature of the piece, reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or an hallucination,” said Smith.

“As the sun tucks behind the mountains, slowly shifting, geometric color fields emerge until they hover in the desolate darkness. When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light and change.”