The global pandemic has accelerated the development and proliferation of contactless restaurant technologies that enable positive guest experiences and improved efficiencies — while, most importantly, reducing the risk of exposure to the deadly virus that continues to severely cripple the industry. Over the past several months, dozens of leading solution providers, as well as a number of startups, have rapid-pathed the launch of a wide range of next-generation solutions for contactless menu access, ordering and payment processing.
Recent examples, to name just a few, include Paytronix’s Contactless Dining solution, Allset’s Contactless Ordering solution, and Zuppler’s Menu Anywhere On-Premise Contactless Ordering solution. At the same time, venture capital and private equity firms have been investing heavily in companies with innovative solutions that enable contactless restaurant guest engagement, including touch-free ordering and transaction processing. Last week, for example, Bbot received funding for its contactless restaurant ordering and payment processing solution which reduces close human-to-human interactions and replaces printed menus with “a cleaner digital option.”
Most of these contactless solutions allow guests to access digital menus, ordering and payment options with their smartphones. Some solutions incorporate QR scanning or location codes. Some solutions for minimizing human interaction in restaurants involve autonomous robotics.
One futuristic solution for touchless ordering that stands to capture the attention of restaurant owners and operators was, until now, the stuff of science fiction: holography.
One company in this emerging space, which may or may not represent the next frontier in touchless restaurant guest engagement, is Holo Industries. The California-based company is a 40-year-old manufacturer and distributor of disruptive applications that span multiple industries and areas, including software, microprocessor, power, optical and mechatronic industries, including smart cards, wearables, surgical robotics, and autonomous vehicles.
The company announced this week that it has developed a line of contactless-touch holographic solutions that allow users to interface with keypads, touch-screens, displays and other interactive devices in mid-air.
According to a press statement, the solutions are the result of a pairing of its optical sensing technology, the ASKA3D Holographic plate from Asukanet, and other proprietary firmware and components, resulting in a realistic holographic image with a highly-functional human-machine interface (HMI). The company reports that it is already filling orders of a thin-profile demo for flush-mounting inside kiosks and restaurant counters.
While this holographic approach to contactless menu access, ordering and payment processing captures the imagination, and would seem to address some of today’s most pressing concerns, only time will tell if it joins the ranks of widely-adopted next-generation restaurant solutions.