Virtual restaurants, part 2

My post yesterday talked about virtual restaurants. The basic idea was to use the forthcoming technology of good mixed reality to virtually join together diners. All customers feel as though they are dining together in a restaurant, although each couple or family group is actually sitting at home.

This could be combined with complementary technologies, such as robotic equipment that prepares the food, and other robotic equipment that serves it. In this way, everybody in the virtual restaurant could partake of the same cuisine.

Delivery services from Whole Foods, Sprouts, and their equivalents could be packaged in such a way that food preparation at home can be entirely automated. So, for example, making a reservation to “dine out” on a Friday evening automatically prompts a set of orders to your food delivery provider of choice. By the time Friday arrives, all needed ingredients are in your house and ready to go.

Meanwhile, thanks to mixed reality, your robot “waiter” can have an avatar that suggests a particular cuisine: French, Italian, mediterranean. You can even get a Hobbit cuisine from the Shire as your virtual waitperson, if you are dining out for second breakfasts or elevensies.

If you are willing to pay a little extra, you can get a live human being to virtually wait on your table. In reality, this person may be operating from their own home, perhaps in Iowa or Kentucky. Technically that would be a form of remote computer-mediated puppetry.

A whole industry could be built around such remote personalized services. But that’s an entire topic unto itself.

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