2012.39 | New Ideas

Robot-Burger-640x360Robot ChefMomentum machines is offering up a fastfood restaurant in a box.  This newly minted organization’s solution is a robotic hamburger assembly line.  Momentum’s vision is to replace a fast food kitchen staff with an automated system to provide high end burgers at fast food prices.  The robot apparently even cuts vegetables for the burger to order. via psfk

A solution like this provides an incredible opportunity for quality control and a smaller footprint restaurant.  On the downside, if the machine has problems, your business would come to a stop.  It would also make the restaurant reliant on some very specialized technical help in the near term.  It’s a risky option to run a business this way without any backup; but it is an intriguing notion all the same.  The only way to know it will work is for someone to try it.  If you open one of these up, give me a call.  I’ll definitely try a robot burger! via mashable

3d printing3D printing @ Staples – Through a partnership between Staples and Mcor Technologies a 3D printing service will soon be available at Staples stores in Belgium and the Netherlands.  Expect this sort of service to find its way over to North America with growing interest in 3D printing.  As mentioned in other other articles on this blog, 3D is the next file sharing “nightmare/opportunity” for retailers.  Hobbyists have been into 3D printing for some time, prices of 3D printers are dropping, and there is a physibles (3D models) section on The Pirate Bay.   Consider this the opening chapter in a longer story where retailers need to change their game on anything consumers can print themselves.

e-ink casee-ink iPhone Case – I was intrigued by this new case design by popSlate.  Filling the empty space on the back of an iPhone, the designers put an e-ink screen on the back of a case.  The case draws power from the port a the bottom of the iPhone.  While the initial design is really to put pictures on the back to personalize the case, the next step is an API that allows for apps to control the back screen.  From a retail perspective this provides all sorts of interesting possibilities.  It could mean that a loyalty card barcode can be shown on the back of the case based on input from the mobile device, so that the user’s screen isn’t taken up a plain old card or barcode.  The main lcd screen could have other more relevant information on the screen for the user, like offers, information on store events, or anything for that matter. via wired

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