Do You Need A Food Printer?

You may have heard of the revolution coming in the form of the personal 3D printer; a device that can print physical representation of almost any object you can imagine.  Here is a link to more on 3D printers,

Now the food printer has been imagined and some argue in this story link that early versions are already with us. Go to this story titled Chef in a Box by Nathan Myhrvold to read it for yourself.  The concept of a food printer is controversial if you read the few comments posted at the end of the story in the link.

Two years ago, I took my two high schoolers to San Luis Obispo to see the college and some other sights in the area.  The main reason for the trip was to see a friend of mine who has a business in SLO that makes unmanned aerial vehicles… flying robots.  I was trying to impress upon those two that the future for them is in mechanical engineering and software.  The trip did not work on them, but it hit home with my then 11 year old son.

After the visit to the business, we went to lunch.  I brought up the topic of software that another friend wrote to allow restaurant guests to place orders on iPads.  You may have already used something like that lately.  I predicted that in some years we will have a future without traditional food servers.  Chefs will be gone from the kitchen and instead food will be precisely and consistently made every time all the time without the dirt, grime and contamination of humans.  I likened it to the banking ATM experience.  My whole family frowned upon that prediction.  They like the traditional dining experience.  I postulated that most people like ATMs and prefer them to dealing with other humans in the branch office.  They did not buy that idea.

Well, fast forward two years and the link above predicts meals will be prepared by robots.  Only time will tell if I am correct.  What do you think?