Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Domino’s BFD

Domino’s BFD

Ever since I was a kid, when I ordered a pizza from Domino’s it was always the same…thin crust with beef (meatball) and pineapple. Thanks to Domino’s new BFD (big fantastic deal) I can now cement my pizza creation online, and if people like the look of it, they can order it as well.

Springwise breaks down Domino’s new social pizza making strategy…

Domino’s revamped its online presence last month as part of its “You Got 30 Minutes” brand re-launch campaign, including adding the new BFD Builder for custom online orders. Short for Big Fantastic Deal, the BFD Builder lets consumers create the pizza of their dreams—specifying the type of crust, the amount of sauce and cheese, and unlimited toppings—for a flat rate of USD 10.99.

What’s really interesting, though, is that consumers can name and register the pizzas they design in Domino’s BFD database, where they can be viewed and ordered by other consumers. Nearly 12,000 pizzas have been registered so far, including the “Happy Birthday Aaron” and “Rhonda Half Doug Half,” for example. The site even tracks how many people have ordered each registered pizza so far, and consumers can view the database with the most popular pizzas first, as well as by newest, oldest or alphabetically. Top of the “most popular” list, incidentally, is the “Ciao Bella!” which has been ordered over 83,000 times.

So head to the new BFD Builder now and share your creations in the comments.

And if you want to order my creation, the Hawaiitaly, click here.

Order Quick

QuickOrder

Order quick with QuickOrder. QuickOrder-GENOCO by Phil Lu is a genius idea that someone needs to buy the rights to.

Pretty soon, Starbucks across the country will be equipped with free Wi-Fi hotspots that will work with your iPhone/iPod. QuickOrder takes that idea even further, letting you touch your order on your own device, and then having the barista scan the code that appears once you touch in your order.

According to the site…

“Get your coffee fix, fast!” iPhone/iPod Touch application that allows the users to purchase their favorite Starbucks drink without waiting in line. This application also includes QuickPay, a swipe transaction system using semacode technology.

The mock ups are beautiful and this idea should definitely be implemented at stores and restaurants across the country.

After digging around for more info, I found this posted on Crave (CNET’s gadget site):

Hot on the heels of the mysterious ordering patent that surfaced late last month, multimedia designer Phil Lu has put together some gorgeous mockup shots of what an ordering system for retail stores would look like using Apple’s iPhone. According to Gizmodo, the shots were created before the patent was filed.

The design shows a variety of screens that let you design and customize a drink to order off Starbucks’ menu. The system uses a mix of a credit account and a Semacode scanning system similar to the barcodes recently used at several airports to verify passenger boarding passes with people’s cellular phone displays. In this case, the code is to verify your payment before pickup.

I’ve attached a picture above, but be sure to visit his site for QuickOrder in action.

Dude! You’re getting a drink!

Dell

Remember this guy? He was that really annoying slacker/stoner spokesperson for Dell.

Apparently he did a bunch of these commercials, then he got busted for weed in 2003 and then took up off-Broadway acting. And now? Well according to AdFreak via New York Mag…

Ben’s behind the bar at Greenwich Village’s Tortilla Flats, a place known for its raucous bingo night and 2 a.m. happy hour, if my foggy memory serves. The good news: He’s in a better place. “There were times when I made boatloads of money as an actor, but here I can be myself,” he says.

There’s a short interview posted on New York Mag’s Grub Street site. Apparently he gets recognized every day.

Well, if you happen to be in the area and want to run up to the bar and do your best “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” impression, here’s the address:

767 Washington St., New York, NY 10014
at 12th St.
212-243-1053

Photo from Grub Street (Melissa Hom).

WineM – The Visual Wine Organizer

WineM

WineM by ThingM is being unveiled at Wired’s NextFest and it a pretty genius idea. It might be a little much for personal use, but it’d be a great interactive wine cellar for a restaurant or wine store.

The rack uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to track and update wines in real time. Watch the video for a better explanation, but you pretty much use a pad to select the combination of wine you’re looking for (ie., by year, region, color, etc.) and the RFID lights accordingly.

According to their press release

WineM solves the problem of remembering all the information about the wines in a large wine rack, cellar or cabinet, or searching through that data. This smart wine rack makes that information always accessible and updatable. With WineM identifies the wines of a certain class, and where they are in the rack, without requiring users to consult paper wine logs or spreadsheets. A bottle can never be misfiled, and a wine rack organizer no longer has to choose a single organizational scheme. The wine in a collection can now be dynamically reorganized by any combination of year, region, price, or any other information axis that interests the collector or sommelier.

For example, a collector planning a dinner party could specify they want to see all of their 2003 Napa Chardonnays whose current market value exceeds $50. WineM will identify and light up just the bottles that match those criteria. ThingM co-founder and creative director Mike Kuniavsky explains, “A single bottle of wine exists as two kinds of objects, an informational object and a physical one. WineM unites these. It explores what everyday objects can be if computers and networks become ubiquitous, as we believe they soon will be. WineM’s unique cabinet is designed to make the process of selecting wine simple, elegant and entertaining, whether in your living room or your favorite restaurant.”

At the moment its just a prototype so keep your fingers crossed.

Check out the videos here and the ThingM site here.

Apple Hearts Starbucks

Apple & Starbucks

Apple is holding a press conference as we speak (er, type) to announce a handful of new iPods and features. The only one that really relates to this food is the new iTunes Wireless Music Store and their partnership with Starbucks.

That’s right…if you own an iPhone or run out and purchase one of the new wi-fi enabled iPhone-look-a-like iPods, you’ll be able to download music on the go and when you walk into a Starbucks, a list of the song playing throughout the store as well as the last 10 songs played will appear on your screen. If you see or hear something you like, you can download it.

Steve Jobs even brought Howard Schultz, the founder and chairman of Starbucks, on stage during this announcement. According to Mr. Schultz, “We open 7 stores every single day.” According to Mr. Jobs’ presentation, Starbucks features over 14,000 stores world wide, 50m customers per week, 18 visits per month per customer.”

Also, no longer will you have to pay for the WiFi feature at Starbucks if you’re on your iPhone/iPod. You’ll have free access to the new wireless music store. Exclusive with iTunes, no login required, completely free access ot the iTunes WiFi Music Store while at Starbucks.

Engadget says the rollout plan is this: 5800 WiFi-enabled stores nationwide. Starting October 2nd: New York and Seattle. 600 stores, followed up in November with 350 stores in SF…then LA and Chicago in ’08.

According to Apple…

Sip. Buy. Repeat. If you’re in a participating Starbucks, the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store on your iPhone or iPod touch has even more to offer. Tap the Starbucks button to find out which song is playing in the café, then buy it instantly. Browse Starbucks playlists to discover new music. Or connect to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store for free and access millions of songs while waiting for your mocha. It all debuts in more than 600 Starbucks locations in New York and Seattle on October 2, 2007. Click here for more info.Oh, and if you have yet to buy an iPhone, you’ll be happy to know Apple just dropped the price to $399.

Visit Apple for all your iPhone/iPod needs.

More Dinner with the Band

Dinner with the Band

I’m going out of town this weekend so I thought I’d download a few podcasts for my trip. As I was browsing through iTunes, I noticed that “Dinner with the Band,” an online show hosted by chef Sam Mason, was available for download in all different kinds of format.

In case you missed my first post about this a while back, the premise is this; Chef Sam Mason invites a band over, cooks with them or uses them as a theme, and then the band plays some songs. It’s done really well and it’s entertaining, probably more so than most cooking shows on TV.

Here’s a cooking show that breaks the mold – the perfect mash-up of indie music and edgy food for total entertainment. Chef Sam Mason has been raising the stakes in the culinary world for the last ten years. Now join him as he invites his favorite touring bands to dinner for an intimate evening of cooking, conversation and live performance. Part rocker, part chef, Mason creates “intellectual food” that stimulates the palate as well as the dialogue. Rock on. (from On Networks)

So head over to the Dinner with the Band site or go browse the podcasts on iTunes.

For more on Sam Mason, including his latest projects, check out his site, sammasonnyc.com.

All out of…

All Out Of

I always forget what I need to get at the grocery store. I keep Post-Its on hand or I’ll scribble notes down on paper, but I always seem to forget something.

That’ll change soon, though. Here’s a couple of items that’ll help you keep track of your groceries, one high-tech and the other old school.

First, the old school. Head over to Perpetual Kid and pick up one of these “All Out Of” note pads.

The miracle of checking off depleted items as you go! Magnets on the back allow for easy refrigerator mounting!

6 x 9 inches, 60 pages, 80-pound uncoated text stock with chipboard backing and adhesive binding.

It’ll only cost ya $6.49 per pad. Good deal if you ask me.

And if you’re living in the digital age and you have an iPhone, check out One Trip.

What’s the one thing you’re sure to have on you when you go to the store – other than your wallet, that is? Your phone. Here’s a simple way to use your iPhone for a little more than passing time by talking to friends while strolling down the aisle. Just browse on over to OneTrip.org and check off items as you add them to your cart. Add new ones from a list of common items with just a tap, or type in that one herb we forgot to put on the list – OneTrip will remember it for next time you shop for the same thing.

Oh, and this one will cost ya nothing. It’s totally free. Head over to the site to give it a try.

Veggie Art

Veggie Alien

This is by far one of the coolest food-themed paintings I’ve seen. It’s definitely a step up from this kind of vegetable art, even if it’s not actually REAL vegetables.

It looks a bit like the alien from Aliens, but apparently it’s a tribute to H.R. Giger and Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

Entitled Salad, this painting by Till Nowak was in the art exhibit side of Emerging Technologies. It’s modeled and rendered in Autodesk 3DS MAX and then retouched in photoshop for that “painting” look.

Click here to see how exactly this was done and some close up detailing.

Googleteria

Google Cafeteria

From everything I’ve heard, Google is a great company to work for. They get benefits up the wazoo aimed at making them more productive while taking their mind off of every day chores.  According to Eric Schmidt, Google CEO…

“The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees way. We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses – just about anything a hardworking employee engineer might want. Let’s face it: programmers want to program, they don’t want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both.” (from Google)

First-class dining facilities? You mean like a nice clean cafeteria serving burgers and sandwiches? Hardly. According to Food & Wine

There are coolers packed with drinks. We left with Gus Dry Meyer Lemon Soda, Smart Water, Cosmic Cranberry Synergy tea (an organic, raw Kombucha—a handmade Chinese tea that’s cultured for 30 days, and that we’re told Madonna drinks!) in our purses; the drinks are all free to Google employees, and to interlopers like us.

The cafeteria includes the following stations: The Chelsea Grill, a Raw Bar, a Ceviche Station, Antipasti, a Salad Bar, a Soup Station, a Spa Cuisine bar and one for Dessert. The only one we didn’t hit was a Home Cooking station.  Our plates were full.  Nearly 50 local farms, seafood purveyors and sources of general yumminess are handwritten on a board near the Earth & Water station (where they serve a different fresh fish every day).  There are also baskets of fresh fruit everywhere: yellow kiwis, prickly pears, apples and peaches.

And as for Food & Wine’s favorite Google cafeteria selections…

  • From the Raw bar: Shredded carrot and jicama with peanuts, ginger and grapes (one of the chefs told us she’d created the recipe that morning). Zucchini “pasta” with sweet peas and a creamy pine nut sauce.
  • From the Ceviche Station: Sesame soy tuna with rice noodles (large chunks of raw tuna—more of a tartare than a ceviche, but delicious).
  • From Earth & Water: Pan-seared salmon with forestiere [wild mushroom] sauce and sauteed spinach with chive oil and garlic.
  • Chelsea Grill: Pulled pork sandwich with raw cabbage slaw (Fred Thompson allegedly said it was some of the best barbecue he had in NYC).
  • To Drink: Fresh prickly pear, beet and plum/apricot waters (pitchers filled with fresh sliced fruit and vegetables; the beet water was a gorgeous hot pink).
  • Dessert: We eyed the lavender and honey whipped cream with fresh blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, but opted for Google It’s Its (a natural, locally sourced, trans-fat-free version of the iconic San Francisco ice cream sandwich: vanilla ice cream between two oatmeal cookies, dipped in chocolate).  There was also cinnamon angel-food cake, green tea madeleines and fresh peach and agave smoothies. We enjoyed (read: inhaled) our It’s Its on the terrace, which overlooks the city skyline and has amazing views of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.

So employees get a gourmet lunch? Yup. And if they come to work on an empty stomach or want to work late, they can enjoy a gourmet breakfast and dinner as well.

But what if I get hungry after lunch? Got any snacks?

Employees can snack from free mini-convenience stores filled with everything from organic gummy bears to cereal, yogurt, health bars, pretzels, bottled water and even some seemingly contraband sodas.

Ok, I’m in. Sign me up. Now I just need to learn how to do computer programming.

Wanna see what they eat? Click here.

Photo from Flickr. And check out more Google menus here.

Classic.

Coke Redesign

All throughout the 90′s and 00′s, Coke’s been redesigning their cans. Bubbles here, colorful swooshes there, patterns, drop shadows, shades of red, gradients, the works.

But times have changed, and Coke has finally realized they’re a classic brand with a classic product and they’ve decided to keep the design as classic as possible.

So Coke goes classic, but what about Pepsi? Well, Pepsi gets as confusing as possible with a number of cans premiering every 3 weeks that will feature a unique URL for a website to go along with the can theme.

The themes are supposed to appeal to young adults featuring designs inspired by fashion, car culture, music, sports and entertainment.

The first such site, at thisisthebeginning.com, appeared through January and introduced the campaign concept. It allowed users to collaboratively create a billboard using selected stencils. The best of these will be made into an actual billboard in New York’s Times Square, which will go up on the first of April, the agency side. (from Yanko Design)

Photo from Under Consideration.

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