Is This the Future of Food Prep? Foodini, a 3D Food Printer
Remember The Jetsons?
George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy? And, of course, their robotic maid Rosie? Growing up they were all a part of my Saturday morning ritual. At the time, when they first made their television premier in 1963, The Jetsons were part of a Utopian community set 100 years into the future - 2064. Flying cars, elevated Googie-styled houses, and the ability to complete any task with ease simply by pressing a button on a Space-aged looking gadget sought to imagine a future of convenience.
Nearly 50 years later we still don't commute to work in flying saucers and the maid is most likely a human that arrives semi-weekly to labor over those tasks we abhor. However, we might be one step closer to reliving the live of homemaker Jane in the kitchen. Jane's kitchen was outfitted with a device which, when a card was inserted into the appropriate slot, produced a full meal - no prep work required. Natural Machines and their introduction to the world of cooking - Foodini - comes remarkably close to doing the same thing.
3-D Printing is certainly not a new technology having been explored by nearly every industry - from architecture (producing architectural models) to design to even space (a wrench was recently produced on a 3-D printer in outer space from a file uploaded here on Earth). The short version is that a CAD or other acceptable file is uploaded to the Printer which then translates it into reality using a malleable material which then solidifies. Realistically speaking nearly anything can be produced on a 3-D Printer, even automobiles.
Foodini uses the same technology but instead of using plastic, users fill its reservoirs with prepared ingredients of their choosing. Not unlike uploading a CAD file to a 3-D Printer, the user selects their desired recipe and Foodini takes care of the prep. According to Natural Machines, the basis for their Counter revolution is that those looking for a home cooked meal are often stymied by some of the more daunting tasks involved in cooking from scratch, say making ravioli by hand for example, and Foodini would be the "Sou Chef" to take over those types of tasks. Foodini does not actually cook any of the foods it produces (unless using pre-cooked ingredients like chocolate candies) but it does remove some of the inconsistencies and guess work out of producing your own food at home not to mention does so while making the chef look really "ahead of the times". I wouldn't be surprised if Wylie Dufresne doesn't add one to his own bag of tricks.
Where Foodini personally appeals to me is that it encourages cooks and chefs alike to be creative with food presentation without necessarily having the knowledge and wherewithal to do so. Intricate ganache toppings for cakes and deserts, pasta in the shape of animals for children, and secret messages on toast are all possible without taking special classes, buying yet another tool, or being a super-chef. And goodness knows, I certainly love to play with my food.
All of this fun and technology is wrapped up into a simple, streamlined box with a sleek mini-tablet display. So is it available yet? Not quite but Natural Machines is working on it. It's already moved beyond the original funding campaigns and is a working product. I might just have to try one myself!
Foodini by Natural Machines | www.NaturalMachines.com
DCoopMedia did not receive compensation for this post. Images and Video Copyright Foodini unless otherwise noted and may not be used without permission. The Jetsons screenshot copyright Hanna-Barbera.