High Tech or Flop? Order Pizza Using Car Dashboard

John Lister's picture

Twenty years ago, ordering a pizza online was virtually unheard of, but in 1994, the first-ever online pizza transaction took place. The idea proved to be way ahead of its time, but eventually caught on and more restaurants followed suit.

In recent years smartphone apps have been developed so that mobile users can order their favorite foods on the go. Flash forward to today, and now Domino's and Pizza Hut have both reached agreements to allow customers to place orders through unconventional means -- by using smart watches and dashboards on high-tech cars.

Domino's is no stranger to unusual ordering options. In some countries, satellite TV subscribers could order using their remote control as far back as 2001. But now it wants to go a step further so that hungry folks don't even have to pick up a gadget.

The new ordering option is available for the high-profile Pebble watch or any watch running Google's Android Wear system. As with almost all smartwatch applications, it needs to be linked to a smartphone on which the relevant app has already been installed. (Source: slashgear.com)

Watch Display Tracks Pizza Progress

In practice, using a smart watch has been something of a gimmick, as the sheer fiddliness of using a menu on such a tiny watch screen will almost certainly outweigh the "inconvenience" of pulling out a smartphone -- or indeed, just making a phone call. That said, the high tech set-up does have a more useful purpose, as the watch will also display live updates on the progress of the pizza. For example, users can view the status of the order, including: from prep table to oven, to delivery bike in order to approximate how long it will be until their hunger is satisfied.

Meanwhile, Pizza Hut is targeting those customers who want to pick up a cheesy treat while driving home. They are working with Visa and Accenture to develop a "smart car" dashboard that includes a menu for ordering a pizza. (Source: pcmag.com)

In-Car Ordering Entirely Voice Based

The idea for ordering pizza online the car's dash is to have the transaction work entirely through voice, both for hearing menu options (for operation and the culinary kind) and placing an order. The car will then keep the restaurant updated with its GPS location so that staff will know when the customers is about to pull in to make the pick up, and in theory make sure the pizza is perfectly cooked on time.

Unlike the Domino's app, this is merely something in the testing stages. Pizza Hut is known for experimenting with high tech option that don't always pan out, such as a recent test of a touchscreen table display that lets restaurant customers create and visualize a custom pizza. It's not yet commented on suggestions such a display could be compromised by the sticky fingers of previous guests.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you ordered pizza or other delivered goods through high-tech, unusual methods? Do you think such options might appeal or are they just for show? Would having more ordering options make you more likely to give in to impulse purchases?

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Dennis Faas's picture

Smartphone food ordering apps are certainly useful if they offer an easy to browse menu. A smart watch update might be interesting to look at, but the display is incredibly limited and you could just as easily get updates through a smartphone. Adding an ordering system to a car's dashboard, however, seems suicidal. It's just another reason to distract a driver. Do we really need that?

matt_2058's picture

It's one of those 'just because you can doesn't mean you should' things. Being a motorcyclist, I am always looking out for texters and talkers. People can say what they want about a hands-free law being restrictive, but I was safer in Los Angeles traffic than Tn or La.

There was a time 'No-Fault' laws were relevant. Not in today's tech-rich world.

Can you imagine being rear-ended by someone ordering pizza and having the delivery re-routed to the accident site? hahaha