During the COVID Pandemic, we have seen how new technology trends, QR codes, digital menus, delivery robots transforming the food industry and changing the way people eat and think about food.
The food and drink industry is ever-evolving and it has become apparent that only adaptable businesses will survive. A restaurant's success will depend on meeting consumers’ needs by harnessing technology and creating experiences and diversity.
As the coronavirus creates a global “social distancing’ phenomenon more individuals turn to food delivery, VR and AR technologies that have become popular could ultimately help address isolation caused by pandemics.
Initially, it was thought that Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) would be limited to gaming and entertainment, but nowadays the presence of these breakthrough technologies began to be felt within the fields of hospitality and the food industry.
What is the Virtual Reality (VR)?
All of us have wondered whether we can experience Virtual Reality for the rest of our lives after watching the Matrix. Virtual Reality, which has been the theme of science fiction authors until recently have rapidly become a part of our daily lives.
In 2010, after 18-years-old Palmer Luckey produced the first Virtual Reality headset prototype and developments in the field have exploded.
Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with a 3D world. The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power.
How Virtual Reality is being used in Dining Experiences?
Restaurants are constantly searching for the next big dining trend and eating in virtual reality is one of the most interesting and latest trends in the competitive food industry. As dining out is such a sensory experience, it makes sense that people would start to experiment with how Virtual Reality can be used in a restaurant setting. Therefore if you wish to have a unique night out and have a new immersive experience, “Virtual Reality Dining Experience” is the only thing you need.
Imagine you are having dinner in a garden surrounded by beautiful flowers and a winery. You wear your VR glasses while the various smell of flowers come to you with a gentle breeze. After you finish your appetiser, you suddenly find yourself swimming with dolphins under the water while the main meal is coming. Your specially adjusted Italian table design is shaped according to the VR experience you are experiencing at that moment and the current environment you are in adapts. You can even see the foam in your drink rise and the water comes to your table. Sounds incredible and impossible, Isn't it? But, this and many other amazing combinations of Virtual Reality and dining is now possible.
If VR technology is adopted more broadly, it could become a bigger part of creating memorable and profitable food experiences as well as be a tech-based source of addressing health issues in society.
Virtual Reality for the treatment of eating disorders
Several studies have shown how Virtual Reality (VR) brings great benefits in the treatment of Eating Disorders.
One of the most recent theses extracted from Exposure Therapy through Virtual Reality in eating disorders; analyses 13 studies of samples of patients with eating disorders and populations without eating disorders to which they are exposed to virtual reality environments and stimuli. The results show evidence about the ability of VR to cause anxiety responses in patients with eating disorders and therefore it’s effectiveness in exposure therapy. The study also detects the efficient use of VR for the prevention of binge eating behaviour in patients with bulimia and binge eating disorders.
Virtual Reality technologies which are accessible to users for more affordable prices will likely provide significant benefits in the future.
What is the Augmented Reality (AR) and how it has begun to make headway within the food industry
Augmented Reality is a technology that offers close and one-to-one inspection opportunities by positioning 3D objects anywhere in the real world through applications installed on smart devices.
It is possible that the Food and Hospitality Industry is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of using Augmented Reality (AR), but you would be surprised to know it is becoming very popular in this sector. The Food industry is very competitive and being in this sector means keeping up with the latest trends.
AR technology is a unique tool empowering restaurants, delivery services and other vendors in the food industry. It can be applied in a variety of cases, from efficient staff training to visualising dishes, menus and to enhancing the customer experience.
Augmented Reality bridges the gap between consumer, product and product content. This amazing technology trend makes it easy for end-users to get detailed information about the content, appearance and nutritional value of each food item they order. The fact that customers can see their menu selections in 3D through the application makes it both appetising and giving them an idea of how the food will be before it arrives.
The entire range of food that they see in Menu AR is a three-dimensional image of the real dishes. The customer will see the texture of foods, it’s ingredients and size. Once they point the camera at the table they will see the desired order in front of them! The menu in Augmented Reality is created in the following steps:
First, a photographer comes to the place with a special box to take photos in and take shots of freshly cooked dishes from different angles, about 200 photos will be taken in 15 mins, then 3D artists create three-dimensional images of the dishes. Now, this is not of flat pictures on paper anymore but a modern virtual offer of a restaurant. Customers can install the app on their phones and through the pamphlets with QR codes on the table easily go to the menu just by scanning the code. Then suddenly the real size of food appears in front of them. They can easily order new unusual dishes as they can see what they will get.
Also, it’s easy to order delivery at home using the AR app. It just needs a couple of clicks and the client can’t resist making an order because the food on the table looks so real and gives the appetite. One more click and the dishes are in the basket, waiting for delivery is the only thing left. No doubt, Menu AR will make us look at food differently.
How Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are shaping the future of food?
It seems the biggest areas of impact of AR/VR and technology in general on shaping the future will be food products and how they are marketed both experientially through VR but also packaging through AR.
In terms of restaurants, VR will be a fantastic and hugely influential piece of the technology but it really needs to come down in price point first.
Overall, artists and creators are still getting used to see how this technology works. AR/VR is going to become almost an expected point of interaction or engagement between food businesses and the customer as we continue finding artistry in it.
We can expect to see AR and VR becoming a more integrated element of life, but it still needs acceleration from creators, developers and marketers to make it accessible for anyone and everyone.
Weetech team as a pioneer in using new technologies plans to help customers to capitalise on these powerful trends and opportunities and empower their businesses.
If you want to give a fine dining experience to your customers or to serve them from a distance with online ordering without partnering with online delivery aggregators, Weetech is here to help you.
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