There’s a lot of mobile device-powered innovation going on in all sorts of fields these days, but what the Norwegian company fluxLoop is testing out for the pizza restaurant chain Peppes Pizza has to be one of the coolest I’ve seen. I originally stumbled across the company when looking for information on the capabilities of a rooted Motorola Motoactv smartwatch, and that in itself should get your attention.
The company is currently testing out a paperless system at one of Peppes restaurants in Oslo, Norway. It’s based on software made in HTML5 and PhoneGap (to avoid being locked down to a single OS), and currently uses a combination of Windows and Android hardware. The customers can use Galaxy Tab 2 10.1s to order food and call for the bill, the waiters are equipped with smartphones, the kitchen uses a Microsoft Kinect-powered system for hands-free operation of the system, and delivery drivers use Samsung Xcover (rugged) smartphones out in the field.
The Motoactv was originally intended as a way to give the waiters an easier way to receive information from the kitchen than to have to find the smartphones, but availability and the need for root made it a less than ideal solution. The company is currently testing the Sony Smartwatch as a viable alternative, replacing the Android-powered (and thus fully independent) Motoactv with a device that works as a slave to the phone it’s connected to. The video below from the initial testing of the Motoactv gives you an idea of why it’s useful to have a smartwatch included in such a setup.
What’s so unique about this system is how it incorporates so many different components into a working solution. Tablets for ordering, phones and smartwatches for serving, rugged devices for those in the field, and even a gaming accessory (the Kinect) to give the kitchen staff a hygienic way to interact with the system. The Pebble and i’m watch are also on the list of devices to check out for possible future integration. If anything, this shows what you can accomplish if you have the ability to think outside the box instead of just following the standard recipe for mobile device integration. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the way companies like the Norwegian State Railways has created its app system, it just raises fewer eyebrows than using a rooted sports watch and a game console accessory in a pizza restaurant.[fluxLoop]