It’s the early 00s and you’re pressed up close to the TV, the static beaming off as you glide your finger across the screen. You aren’t worried about the square eyes syndrome your parents seem to be deathly afraid of, because you’re utterly mesmerised by the food the magic box is showing you. It is at that precise moment that an idea pops into your head. It’s an unoriginal one. Trust me, we’ve all thought it—Smell-O-Vision.
The idea was first developed as early as the 1960s by a man named Hans Laube—his technique debuted only once. Since then, the innovation has clung on to the imaginations of people everywhere. But what if I told you it could actually be a possibility—that Smell-O-Vision is coming back for good? According to Foodhub CEO Adrian Mula, the food delivery industry is set to be hit by the augmented reality (AR) bug over the next five years in its biggest technological evolution yet.
In a press release shared with Screen Shot, Mula predicted that AR could revolutionise the customer’s experience with ordering their takeaway. The new tech could allow you to enjoy the sights, sounds and (potentially) even the smells—from the comfort of your own home. From this year onwards, Foodhub is set to launch numerous strategies for AR development as part of its business model—placing the “food delivery company at the forefront of the tech revolution.”
The 20,000 already existing restaurant and takeaway partners of the food delivery firm could have access to such ground-breaking tech within the next five years. To Mula, such developments would benefit not only the customer—who will revel in a state-of-the-art experience—but also the business, “I see this technology as being a game changer for both the industry and the takeaway consumer. Imagine as a consumer if you could have the full takeaway experience, using just your smartphone and a pair of goggles?”
“This could allow customers to effectively walk into a takeaway and get the full flavour of the business, from the branding to the shop interior. They could then ‘shop’ their own order, from building a burger to picking a pizza off the shelf, as well as interacting with staff—all from the comfort of their own living room,” Mula continued. Such an advancement in tech is part of the wider conversation around the metaverse and we just can’t seem to get enough of it—take Tinder’s wild VR dating universe.
Mula noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way in which we order and interact with technology. The impact of the pandemic has created the need for a revitalisation of many industries like the food delivery business. While the development of the AR software is set in motion, Foodhub announced as part of its press release that other advancements in tech would be implemented in the meantime—placing efficiency at the forefront of this new and exciting endeavour.
One of the ways it seeks to do this is by jumping on the possible trend that all takeaways could soon become entirely cashless—only adding to the rise of grocery stores in South Korea that have already caught onto interaction-free shopping—implementing alternatives like paying by QR. “QR codes can be printed for pennies, a stark contrast to expensive payment hardware. In global markets such as India, there has been a big emphasis placed on providing businesses with these more affordable technologies, and we see a big opportunity to provide business owners with the chance to save on tech and instead invest elsewhere,” Mula stated.
Other advancements include the update to Foodhub’s software called Fusion 2.0—currently in trial at 100 takeaways across the country—which sees the removal of traditional (and perhaps outdated) tools like tills and printers replaced with a singular device like a smartphone or tablet. While such updates may not be incredibly new to the industry, the food delivery CEO would like independent businesses to have the same access as larger chains.
Some small businesses seem to be already benefiting from such technology. Take Natasha Archer of Leeds-based Archers Sweets who has been working with Foodhub tech for under a year, “Over the last few years, we’ve been upgrading our tech capabilities in line with the functions available with the Foodhub platform.”
“As an independent business, using the software developed by Foodhub means we are able to keep up with the biggest players in the industry, something we would struggle to do without access to technologies such as these,” she went on to say.
This is not the first technological advance the food industry has danced with, from robots in the kitchen to vibrators that track your food delivery, Mula predicts that food could soon be delivered by both drones or robots to locations that are difficult to reach by traditional transportation methods. And these upcoming changes may not be all that futuristic—according to Mula, we could have this within a decade.
Has your lockdown period been synonymous with sex toys and takeouts? If so, we take great pleasure in introducing Grubuzz—a new technology that milks the power of teledildonics to send clitoris vibrations to users as their food ordered from a national chain or local favourite is being prepared and ultimately delivered.
Pioneered by the good folks over at CamSoda, the vibrator is built to track and give real-time updates on the status of your delivery via—you guessed it—frequency of vibrations. As the restaurant prepares your food, the toy would emanate slow, well-spaced pulsing which intensifies as your order gets picked up and delivered to your doorstep.
“People have been stuck at home for over a year now,” said Daryn Parker, Vice President of CamSoda in a press release. “They have grown accustomed to ordering takeout food from their favourite restaurants regularly.” In addition to the boom of quarantine cravings and food deliveries, Parker outlines a spike in demand for teledildonics. So they invested in the inevitable.
“Here at CamSoda we figured we’d combine these popular activities and produce a technology that gets people off while their food delivery order is being prepared and ultimately delivered,” Parker explained, summing up Grubuzz’s purpose as an innovation which will “not only leave your mouth watering but your private parts too.” “What better way to eat some of your favourite food from Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Outback Steakhouse, or P.F. Chang’s than after you’ve orgasmed?”
If you live in the UK and can’t relate with his list of mouthwatering restaurants, imagine literally getting off after a long day of ‘WFH’ while waiting for your Nando’s, KFC, Greggs, or Domino’s. Sounds pretty dreamy, right?
Upon purchase, users will obtain a curated email address from CamSoda which they will then plug into their favourite delivery apps including GrubHub, Uber Eats, Caviar, DoorDash and Postmates. When an email is sent from these delivery apps updating the users on the status of their order, it will be forwarded to the CamSoda-generated email.
This will simultaneously set off a vibration to their internet-connected teledildonic device. The frequency of these vibrations will later increase throughout the food delivery process up until it reaches the user’s doorstep.
The innovation behind Grubuzz follows previous launches by the adult entertainment company within the food delivery industry. In 2018, CamSoda launched RubGrub, a vibrator that ordered food for users after they’ve had an orgasm—starting with a large cheese pizza from Domino’s.
RubGrub was made possible with an internet-programmed Bluetooth button (similar to the Amazon Dash Button) designed to fit onto a Lovense Nora vibrator. The button had payment, delivery and order information programmed into it at the time of purchase and connected to Domino’s through its pizza-ordering Application Programming Interface (API). When a user was done ‘using’ the vibrator, they pushed the button, which placed a delivery order for a large cheese pizza.
Given the nightmarish history of teledildonics, Grubuzzs’ safety is under fire. Earlier this year, we had men accidentally caging themselves in chastity belts—a move which left them scarred following months of recovery. Then came hacked livestream footages from a dildo, Bluetooth-enabled butt plugs and more.
While Grubuzz is a highly appealing innovation given its present context, it is in fact exploitable to hackers. The way hacking of these internet-connected sex toys usually pans out is via weak end-to-end APIs. The fault essentially welcomes encryption, giving absolutely anyone on the internet access to your sex toy. Sensitive information provided in-app or during purchase also becomes vulnerable as hackers engage in practices like ‘sextortion’ to leverage the data collected. The only way out is to avoid storing personal information on these apps along with regular cross-checking of API faults discovered by third-party testing firms.
However, if you truly want to experience ‘getting off in anticipation of getting stuffed later’, then CamSoda has good news for you: a male version will debut in the coming months. Welcoming everyone onto the boat, the adult entertainment company might just be pioneering another fictional scenario—replying ‘me too’ to the pizza delivery dude when he texts ‘I’m almost there’.