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Turning fantasy into reality

From digital image to pixelated food


By Rizal Obanil

It used to be just part of a science fiction movie. Someone presses a button to order food from half way around the globe and from a device comes out the food that that person had just ordered from a similar device.

pixelated food (image: brian wong/mashable)

pixelated food (image: Brian wong/mashable)

Still think it’s a scene from a sci-fi movie? Think again.

The people behind SXSW, Open Meals are now trying to turn this fantasy into reality.

According to an article from Mashable, Open Meals is already developing a prototype for a Pixel Food Printer.

They now have a digital food platform which basically stores flavor, shape, color, nutrients and texture of different kinds of foods.

Now, how do you turn a digital image into a 3-D reproduction of something that resembles food? This is where the custom-built robotic arm called the Pixel Food Printer comes in.

After a particular food has been chosen, for example sushi, the printer shapes up an edible gel and starts creating a pixelated version of it. While in the process of actually making the food, flavors, color, nutrients etc. are combined together to come up with the finished product.

Open Meals, this new technology could have some practical applications aside from fulfilling the fantasies of coach potatoes of never having to leave their favorite seat just to get food.

Some of these applications are for literally beaming food to astronauts living in space stations or in space shuttles.

Another application would be that of a chef with a cooking program who could actually send food to his televiewers.

The prototype is still in the works and is still unavailable to the average Joe, but you might be surprised if one day it actually does make its way to foodies all over the world.

Essentially, SXSW wants to do for food what is now already possible for music through iTunes.

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