3/01/2008

Technology of the Future

Remember "Back to the Future," and when Marty goes into the future and orders a drink from a talking T.V.? Well now there's something similar to that at a wine-bar in New York. This article is about the new technology of ordering. Any customer can touch the bar and a screen, similar to an iPod screen, will appear. You select a category with your finger, and the computer segments the different varieties of drinks until the screen delivers you to your narrowed-down drink of choice.

Is this technology “same-old?” Kind of. We've already got touch screens similar to this, like for ATMs, self-check-outs, and computer screens. The restaurant that recently installed this device (for $5,000 to $10,000) wants to seem more “hip” and make wine “more approachable.”

So, will these screens just be a fad? What will be the return on investment as opposed to the typical paper menus? Will consumers find that a "technology menu" adds to their consumer surplus significantly more than a paper menu? I don't think I'd be willing to bet on this investment paying itself off.

4 comments:

Trinity said...

While this particular machine might not seem a worthwhile investment. It is critical for companies to stay up-to-date with advances in the world of kiosks and automated service. Perhaps this machine is just paving the way for the next wave of machines that consumers and bottom-lines will love.

Bitsy said...

I was glad to see that the wine selection is not dispensed from the machine. That would not have been appealing. This technology seems to replace the handheld wine list, with the advantages of being viewed and operated by a group rather than an individual, and having a greather depth of information available for decision making. It probably will add to the fun factor of visiting this bar. I don't think it is worth the $250,000 the restaurant paid for it, but I don't know what this New York spot charges for wine either.

Aidan said...

If this technology accomplishes what it’s intended to do, which is capture more customers, then I believe this is greatly beneficial. I believe this will soon become more apparent in all restaurants as this technology becomes more cost effective. No doubt will be ordering our food from a touch screen as we sit in Applebee’s. As of right now this business is taking a chance and I applaud them for that. What fun is life without a little risk?

Dr. Tufte said...

I thought Bitsy's comment was insightful.

And ... I agree with Aidan ... after seeing the disposable screens they are putting into our Wal-Mart, I think something like this probably is the wave of the future.