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Bytes for bites

Alex Christie

13 March 2008

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Ever hated being stuck with the waiter or waitress who has had a bad day? Or perhaps the constant pressure to ‘hurry up and choose’ affects your evening experience?

The e-menu is being trialled across the world; the ability for a customer to search a visual display of the restaurants offerings and to order when they are ready. A novelty that has apparently boosted revenue for restaurants.

No need for straining your neck as you look for a waiter to order from or to complain to. The technology behind it is pretty simple. A wireless computer network that links each screen to a central computer. Make your order, and it is sent directly to the kitchen.

The ‘touchscreen’ ability found in the e-menu and most famously used in the iPhone and iTouch, is not as sophisticated as some of the other gadgets out there that use it. Take Microsoft’s ‘Surface Technology’ which has been found, amongst other things, in a coffee table; allowing users to
interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and
objects such as paintbrushes across the screen.

Still, if you’re looking for a hot date, the e-menu has a map of the restaurant where you can send messages to other customers. Or even buy them a drink! So keep an eye out!

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